Of Coffee Pods, Videogames, and Missed Interoperability: Reflections for EU Governance of the Internet of Things
40 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2015 Last revised: 6 Jan 2016
Date Written: December 1, 2015
This paper argues that the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) raises the need for an interoperability that goes beyond mere interconnection between digital objects, and requires IoT manufacturers to be able to access and “mine” each other's data. Observing that collaboration in existing IoT consortia comes short of this deeper level of integration, it calls the European Commission to develop guidelines that facilitate broader cooperation, for example by adopting model licenses and best practices; and to address the interaction between competition and standardization involving intellectual property other than patents. The paper also illustrates with two examples that lock-in strategies pursued by leading platforms by preventing interoperability in secondary markets (specifically, coffee pods and console video games) resulted of dubious advantage, generating consumer dissatisfaction, requiring significant legal expenses and attracting antitrust scrutiny.
Keywords: IPRs, standardization, database protection, Internet of Things, data mining, interoperability, videogames, computer programs, technological protection measures
JEL Classification: K19. K20, K21, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation