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Patents and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Study Patents and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The inventions behind digital transformation



The massive deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) isabout to entice a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). By 2025, it is estimated that 26-30 billion of devices in the home and workplace will be equipped with sensors, processors and embedded software, and connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). These objects can operate autonomously based on the data that they collect or exchange with each other. Once combined with other technologies, such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence , they enable the automation of entire business processes, including repetitive intellectual tasks previously performed by human beings. Autonomous objects are already transforming a large variety of sectors, from manufacturing and agriculture to health and transportation. However, the deepest changes are yet to come. 

This study draws on the latest available patent information to analyse the innovation trends that signal the advent of the the Fourth Industrial Revolution. All European patent applications related to 4IR have been identified up to 2016. 

Download the study 'Patents and the Fourth Industrial Revolution' for free. We hope you enjoy reading and browsing through the study.

Published and edited by European Patent Office
Authors: Yann Ménière, Ilja Rudyk, Javier Valdes







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Selected patent seminars

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PCT Formalities [Advanced]

The purpose of this seminar is to inform the participants how to prepare an international application for filing under the PCT and subsequently monitor the consecutive procedural steps, timelimits and payment of fees in the PCT international phase up to and including entry into the national phase in designated and elected states.

  • Amsterdam / 22. - 23.10.2019
  • Amsterdam / 24. - 25.11.2020

Sufficiency of Disclosure in EPO Applications (Art. 83 EPC)

Our speakers will help you to gain an in-depth understanding of Art 83 EPC. After the course, you will be able to better balance the needs for disclosing the necessary information for the European patent application and keeping important features of the invention secret for other jurisdictions.

  • Amsterdam / 22.10.2019

IP Key Metrics

This course is about key metrics for IP. Attendees will learn how to measure IP KPIs.

  • Amsterdam / 23.10.2019

Added Subject-Matter (Art. 123(2) EPC)

The concept of added subject-matter for an application or a patent under Art. 123(2) EPC is a very important concept in European patent law.

  • Amsterdam / 23.10.2019

IP Risk Management

This course is about techniques and tools for IP risk mitigation. Attendees will learn how to set up a proper IP risk management process.

  • Amsterdam / 24.10.2019

The Internet of Things: Patents and Standards

Recently, companies outside the telecommunications sector have been receiving patent notices of [hostile licencing offers] and, in some cases, have even been sued.This practical course aims at showing what a recipient of a FRAND licencing request should do to avoid receiving an injunction.

  • Amsterdam / 29.10.2019

Patent Valuation Workshop

Train how to detect sufficient procedures for concrete valuations and improve your value calculation skills! Our patent valuation workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to train their patent valuation skills through four case studies which become more and more difficult, thus preparing them for future patent valuation challenges. Attendees will need to compute throughout the course.

  • München / 07. - 08.11.2019

Drafting Patent License Agreements

This course helps you to recognize common pitfalls in complex patent license agreements and our speakers will provide you with receive numerous tips and tricks for the practice.

  • Amsterdam / 07.11.2019

Re-establishment of Rights Proceedings at the EPO

Our speakers will not only give an systematic overview of the most relevant case-law but will also show recent trends with regards to re-establishment of rights proceedings at the EPO.

  • Amsterdam / 14.11.2019

US Patent Applications for European Practitioners

This practical course centers around an interactive case study that provides participants with a hands-on analysis of US patent law in comparison to European Law. Special attention will be paid to US practice in the post-AIA world.

  • Amsterdam / Leiden / 14.11.2019
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Patents and the Fourth Industrial Revolution