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Digitalization in the manufacturing sector


Transforming a market leader.

We are giving Siemens, one of the world’s leading industrial manufacturers, award-winning advice on the development of a cloud-based open operating platform that connects machines, plants and systems.

Known as MindSphere, the platform hosts a suite of apps – developed in house and by third parties – that can harness the data generated by connected equipment and drive huge efficiency benefits, for example by enabling businesses to monitor their machines and maintain them before they break. The project is a cornerstone of Siemens’ digital transformation strategy.

The platform runs on components supplied by a variety of businesses, including leading cloud providers and software developers. Our work underpins:

  • Siemens’ relationships with these suppliers;
  • the legal framework under which apps can be created, deployed, marketed and operated; and
  • the commercial agreements Siemens has with the platform’s customers.

Given its capacity to drive the development of the industrial internet of things, the platform has huge commercial potential and opens up a vast array of data-driven revenue streams for both Siemens and its customers. 

For Freshfields, developing a digital ecosystem that brings together so many different players has involved a number of legal firsts. The project has also forced us to answer some fascinating questions covering the complex web of telecoms, payment services, product liability and data privacy regimes the company is now subject to around the world.

Recognising the challenging nature of the mandate, our work on MindSphere was ranked third in the 'Enabling Business Growth' category in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe survey 2018.