Big data entails nearly every aspect of commerce.  However, protecting big data as a form of intellectual property is complex.  For instance, patents, copyrights and trade secrets provide limited protection for datasets.  Moreover, the ownership of datasets can be uncertain.  Additionally, datasets may be subject to numerous regulatory laws.  In view of the aforementioned complexities, contractual agreements play a pivotal role in protecting and commercializing big data.

Big data is a valuable asset

Big data can be in many forms.  Such forms can include market data, consumer data, business records, health records, and experimental results.

Additionally, big data can find applications in numerous fields, including the healthcare and life sciences industries.  For instance, in the healthcare industry, data extracted from electronic health records can be supplied into a software with artificial intelligence (AI) or machine-learning algorithms for diagnostic applications, such as detecting early heart failure and predicting surgical complications[1].  Similarly, in the life sciences industry, DNA sequences generated through next generation sequencing techniques can be supplied to various AI-based software for the identification of potential drug targets[2].


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