Industry 4.0

“Industry 4.0” is the term used to describe the complete digitalisation and cross-linkage of manufacturing processes, including logistics, using machine-to-machine communication (M2M). This development brings with it a host of new challenges for companies that produce and utilise interlinked machinery. For instance, what are the contractual consequences in the future resulting from machinery with the capacity to place orders independently for goods and services by means of M2M communication? Who is liable for a decision ‘made’ by a machine and any damage resulting therefrom?

In addition, the individual connections and instances of data transmission lead to issues concerning the relevant framework conditions, such as the applicability of the German Telemedia Act and Telecommunications Act, and the legal consequences these bring.

New business models are being created to deal with the multitude of data produced through “Big Data” in the course of Industry 4.0. This means it is vital that companies are quick to deal with data ownership issues and that they comply with the resulting data protection and data security requirements.

Participants in this technical revolution also focus on traditional IT-law issues concerning software licensing models, cloud solutions and distribution. In this context, consideration needs to be given not only to technical issues, but also to the legal peculiarities involved.

HOW CAN WE AS­SIST YOU?

We provide support for companies throughout every stage of the implementation of Industry 4.0, from the initial idea through to a functioning business model. Our advice begins at the point of the very first legal evaluation with specific recommendations for action, tailored contractual terms, as well as the development of and the legally compliant implementation of the technical solutions concerned in each case. We provide comprehensive advice on all contractual issues involved, on issues relating to liability as well as all questions relating to data protection law.

Recent Reference Projects

  • Drafting contractual terms for the distribution of process control software for a company involved in the machine construction industry
  • Advising a vehicle manufacturer on the structure of SmartCar services designed to connect drivers and vehicles
  • Advising a high-tech company on implementing a cloud platform for apps relating to all aspects of Industry 4.0
  • Supporting an automotive supplier in the introduction of cloud-based services for the control or remote control of vehicle components