AllSeen Unveils Patent Policy for AllJoyn IoT Code
The group's IP policy is set out to ensure that businesses with AllJoyn-certified devices aren't sued by contributors to the code.The AllSeen Alliance, one of several industry groups working to develop an open framework to make it easier for devices within the Internet of things to communicate with each other, has unveiled a patent policy that's aimed at protecting businesses that use the consortium's code from being sued by those that contribute software to the project. In a post on the AllSeen blog, Philip DesAutels, senior director of IoT for the consortium, wrote that the alliance, which is 13 months old, sought an intellectual property policy that was simple and would encourage companies to leverage the group's AllJoyn code in their products. "Device manufacturers and application developers are busy creating smart connected products with widely different use cases that will be combined in untold ways and sold across jurisdictions," DesAutels wrote. "They want the enabling power of AllJoyn, but they need it delivered within an Intellectual Property (IP) framework that is clear, concise and aligned with the realities of global business. … The new IP policy makes it very clear: Use a compliant base implementation of the AllJoyn code, certify your product, and you are good to go—it's as simple as that." AllSeen has more than 110 members working on software based on the AllJoyn code, which was initially developed by engineers with chip maker Qualcomm, one of the constorium's founding members. The goal is to enable devices that use AllJoyn to connect with other AllJoyn-certified devices, facilitating the communication that is crucial to the Internet of things.
Industry analysts expect the IoT to grow rapidly in the coming years, with Cisco Systems officials predicting the number of connected devices worldwide will grow from about 25 billion last year to more than 50 billion by 2020. The ability for the devices to connect and exchange data is foundational to the IoT, enabling, for example, an AllJoyn-certified light bulb to communicate with an AllJoyn-based doorbell so that when someone rings the bell, the light bulb can flash.