The Internet of Things: Evaluating the Interplay of Interoperability, Industry Standards, and Related IP Licensing Approaches (Part 2)

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We recently published a client alert on January 26, 2016 that addressed some of the more significant Internet of Things (“IoT”) -specific standards and initiatives and emphasized the importance of interoperability as central to the growth and success of the products and services that leverage the IoT. This Part 2 in a series of alerts on IoT provides a detailed update regarding one of the leading efforts around standardization, the Open Connectivity Forum (OCF). The alert also covers three additional industry standards that have particular potential when used in IoT: Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi (including 5G) and Blockchain.

“FRAGMENTATION IS THE ENEMY” -

On February 19, 2016, the Open Connectivity Forum (“OCF”), a new standards effort for the IoT, was announced. Led by Intel, Qualcomm, ARRIS, CableLabs, Cisco, Electrolux, GE Digital, Microsoft and Samsung, the OCF reportedly seeks to merge the current efforts towards standards development in the IoT, uniting the former Open Interconnect Consortium with companies at all levels, and is “dedicated to providing this key interoperability element of an IoT solution.” The initiative hopes to circumvent the expenditure of time and resources in building consensus between multiple standards approaches, accelerating innovation and assisting developers create solutions that map to one open IoT interoperability specification. Emphasizing this point, Qualcomm recently published on its website that “fragmentation is the enemy of IoT”. The OCF sponsors the IoTivity open source project (covered in Part 1 of this Alert) which includes a reference implementation of the OCF specification licensed under the open source Apache 2.0 license.

Please see full Alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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