Inside Counsel: 6 cutting-edge IP trends to look for in 2015
BY RICH STEEVES
...It’s never too early to start thinking ahead to the coming year. When we think of the future, it’s natural to consider matters of technology, and some of the tech that is developing certainly seems like it’s out of a science fiction movie.
The rise of wearable technology, 3D printing and chemical graphene technologies is not just exciting for consumers; it also creates a host of intellectual property concerns for lawyers, inventors and businesses. These technologies will be in the news in 2015, says John Martin, chairman and CEO of Innography, a provider of IP analysis software for businesses and inventors. InsideCounsel recently spoke with Martin, asking him to look in his crystal ball to see what IP matters he foresees in cutting edge tech in the next year.
Wearable tech -- smartwatches
There’s an ongoing narrative in the tech industry that goes something like this: Certain product categories only take off after Apple has demonstrated their viability. This was the case with the MP3 player, the smartphone and the tablet, as Apple products (the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, respectively) helped explode those markets. So, with the announcement of the Apple Watch, which makes its debut in 2015, the smartwatch market may be poised to explode as well. If it does, then it could follow the script that other mobile devices have laid out, a script that involves quite a bit of litigation.
“It could take a while for the wearable technology patent market to percolate. There’s not a huge amount of market share there yet,” explains Martin. “Market success naturally attracts companies asking ‘do we have anything in our IP portfolio that covers aspects of this technology that should be licensed to us?’ If you see the wearable tech market take off early in 2015, you’ll see actions in the form of requests for licensing, and litigation could start to ramp up in 2016.”