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Wearable technology increases likelihood of patent battles

Complex technology embedded into wearable tech devices increases the chance for patent lawsuits and litigation claims sent to the ITC

With the latest technology comes innovative products that not only simplify our lives, but enhance them in ways we never thought imaginable. However, with these new products also comes an unprecedented level of patent claims as battles over technology copyrights ensue. 

Wearable technology for example, incorporates technology so unique that duplication often leads to patent lawsuits brought to the US International Trade Commission (ITC).  Devices such as wearable glasses, smart watches and wristbands dedicated to a healthier lifestyles incorporate computing technology that is so exclusive, manufacturers big and small are easily pitted against each other regarding patent claims and litigations.

According to a recent EETimes report, the ITC has a history of being the forum of choice for patent holders in rapidly emerging markets as patent holders are likely to file suits seeking a portion of their revenues, some of which are not even active in the marketplace, also known as patent trolls.

In 2011, the ITC reached a peak of 69 cases regarding disputes over technology relating to smart televisions and smartphones. The pace has since decreased to 40+ new ITC investigations a year, but the rise of wearable computers may take the number to new heights in coming years, according to the report. The growth of wearable technology is likely to lead to disputes among a more diverse group. 

“The ITC has unique attributes that are likely to attract the patent battles over wearable technology. It is known for its experience managing complex patent cases to relatively speedy resolution,” the EETimes noted. “The ITC also has jurisdiction over any goods entering the US, so it is possible to assert a patent against companies all over the world in a single complaint. It also offers the extremely potent remedy of excluding infringing devices from the US, often viewed as a death sentence in the industry.”


For the latest news in litigation claims and lawsuits in the technology sector, read these related reports:

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Contributing Author

Stefanie Mosca

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