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Internet of Things offers opportunities to small businesses

intellectual property for IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has generated quite a bit of buzz over the past couple of years, but many small- and medium-sized businesses might have assumed that only big businesses could play in that market.

While surveys confirm that the companies investing most heavily in IoT are large ones, one survey showed increasing interest among small businesses to develop applications for IoT as well:

“…the 2015 Brother Small Business Survey found that a third of small businesses surveyed would like to deploy technology to take advantage of IoT.”—Pete Bartolik, The Enterprisers Project

Bartolik highlighted one small elevator business that developed an IoT application for that would automatically report when an elevator was in need of service or repair. The resulting hardware and software the company developed is set to roll out, and the company’s CFO envisions future applications for the technology from stair-lifts to loading docks.

For emerging business owners who want to get in on the IoT action, Tata Consultancy offers seven characteristics that will define IoT leaders. According to the group’s IoT report, these leaders will:

  • Focus on significant value for customers and reimagine how they deliver that value digitally
  • Create new business models designed around their “value driver”
  • Gather data on product usage using IoT capabilities
  • Address customer problems quickly, based on IoT data
  • Be better and faster at realizing the limitations of their products based on data
  • Reduce security breach risks in the technology
  • Invest on a small scale at first and test the technology well before proceeding

If you are a small business owner toying with the idea of entering the IoT space, keep the need for intellectual property protection in mind. Do your due diligence to make sure your idea is unique (aka not “prior art), and register your IP as soon as you can.

To learn more about protecting your small business intellectual property, contact EmergeCounsel today.