We’ve discussed before how entrepreneurs have enjoyed success in taking patented technology from university research labs to the marketplace. Research departments have begun allowing potential buyers exclusive access to technology so buyers can weigh the risks before purchasing. You can read more about this matter in our previous post, “Protecting intellectual property: The university connection.”
Even when a patent licensee has conducted extensive research and knows the tech inside and out, disputes over intellectual property are still possibilities. That is the case for the founders of Sarvint Technologies. The company holds two patents for the “Smart Shirt” garment, which measures a variety of the wearer’s vital signs, including heart rate, respiration rate and temperature.
Two of Sarvint’s co-founders helped develop the technology, the patents for which were licensed to Sarvint by Georgia Tech Research Corporation in 2014. Sarvint’s Smart Shirt, which has been hailed as a breakthrough medical invention, is expected to hit the market in spring 2015.
However, Sarvint has some legal issues to resolve — namely, the company’s patent infringement lawsuits, which have been filed against multiple technology and clothing companies, including Ralph Lauren Corporation, Victoria’s Secret Stores, Adidas North America and Textronics, Inc.
According to Sarvint’s legal complaints, the other companies have infringed on Sarvint’s intellectual property by launching their own “smart shirt” products, including Ralph Lauren’s recently unveiled “Polo Tech” shirt, which also has sensors that read and track vital signs.
Sarvint is seeking a judgment for infringement, as well as an injunction against the companies accused of infringing.
Businesspeople in California’s technology industry know the importance of protecting intellectual property, including patents. If you have patent infringement concerns and would like to know more about your legal options, then our intellectual property overview is a good place to start.