Prototyping an IoT platform for automated IP licensing payments

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< Project Overview >

As the digital economy is becoming more connected, collaborative and distributed, innovations incorporate increasingly complex sets of hardware and software technologies. These technologies often build on Intellectual Property (IP) from multiple originators, creating a complex ‘licensing web’ that licensees, such as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) have to operate based on various terms and conditions. As no digital infrastructure exists to settle IP licensing payments, they are mostly carried out (semi-)manually.

This project aims to build an automated licensing payment system (ALPS), a digital infrastructure that enables the automated calculation, execution and verification of accurate payments from licensees to licensors.

To do so, this project utilises Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and smart contracts, a digital way of recording and validating transactions that are immutable and stored decentrally. These transactions contain agreed terms of licensing contracts and are capable of issuing licensing payments in accordance with the specified terms.

The goal of this platform is to enhance accuracy and trust and reduce uncertainty as well as overall transaction costs in licensing management. The system will also enable novel business models and contribute to fairer remuneration of the original IP holders for the value their assets generate downstream.

This project aims to deliver a working prototype alongside a consortium of academic and industry partners to support its further development. An initial analysis and work with senior licensing industry experts has already confirmed the need and viability of such a platform and the prototype is currently being conceptualised and developed.

Project lead: Dr Frank Tietze at the University of Cambridge

Frank leads the Innovation and Intellectual Property Management lab (IIPM) which focuses on IP issues that are of strategic relevance for technology-based firms and new technologies for reinventing IP management.

See further information on this project via the Institute for Manufacturing website.


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