The Internet of Things (IoT) is ushering in the world of connected devices. Set to become an industry worth $8.9 trillion by 2020, it is, however, one of the rockiest industries for startups entering the field, according to industry insiders. In the “factory of the world,” getting your product manufactured can sometimes also get it stolen.

“Usually, once the [intellectual property] infringement has occurred, there is little that can be done because usually, the Chinese company has managed to get the IP without violating any law,” Dan Harris, Managing Partner at international law firm Harris Bricken, told TechNode.

IP infringement is a problem plaguing China for decades. The issue has recently become one of the main points of the US-China trade tensions. Because they involve many different components—external and internal product design, firmware, software, and sensors—protecting IoT products legally can be complex.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.