Internet of Things (IoT)—key legal issues
Produced in partnership with Pat Treacy and Matthew Hunt of Bristows LLP
Internet of Things (IoT)—key legal issues

The following TMT guidance note Produced in partnership with Pat Treacy and Matthew Hunt of Bristows LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)—key legal issues
  • The technology behind the IoT
  • Identifying the legal issues
  • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  • Telecommunications and electrical equipment
  • Intellectual property—overview
  • Intellectual property ownership and licensing issues
  • Competition law
  • Consumer protection
  • Liability and fault
  • more

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the term given to everyday objects (not just traditional computing devices, such as laptops and smartphones) which are connected to the internet. Other language used in connection with the IoT include: connected devices, smart objects, the internet of services, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, sensor networks, the network of networks and pervasive computing or ubiquitous computing.

IoT can be applied to objects as diverse as running shoes, buildings, cars, fridge-freezers and drones. Using embedded technology, such objects can communicate and interact over the internet, with each other, the user, the service provider and/or their environment, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.

This Practice Note provides an introduction to IoT technology and considers the following issues:

  1. The technology behind the IoT

  2. Identifying the legal issues

  3. Application programming interfaces (APIs)

  4. Telecommunications and electrical equipment

  5. Intellectual property—overview

  6. Intellectual property rights ownership and licensing issues

  7. Competition law

  8. Consumer protection

  9. Liability and fault

  10. Compliance requirements

  11. The appropriate contracting model

  12. Legal issues of the future

This Practice Note does not consider data protection, privacy or security. These issues are addressed separately in Practice Note: Internet of things (IoT)—data protection, privacy and security.

The technology behind the IoT

The introduction of internet protocol version 6 (see: LNB News 27/05/2008 64), the availability of cheaper electronic technology, the ubiquity of connectivity (access to the internet,