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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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