The internet of things (IoT) includes all technologies that link real objects with one other using communication technology and data exchange, which in turn enables access to the said objects. For example, the IoT includes the ‘smart’ refrigerator, which notifies the owner when they are running low on milk, for instance; or wearables, which are sensors sewn into clothing that change the song playing on your smartphone when you move your arm.
As a result, the IoT integrates a multitude of technologies – some of which are patented – into simple objects (in a ‘smart’ refrigerator, for example, sensors for measuring the milk level, sensors for monitoring whether the refrigerator door is closed, and technology for connecting them to a smartphone). This makes it difficult to estimate how many licences are needed for the use of an IoT application, to whom the licencing fees must be paid, and how high these fees should be. To simplify this task, which can be highly complex in individual cases, new mechanisms are needed to efficiently pay the royalties to the respective holders.
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