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Published on Nov 19, 2015Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP intellectual property attorneys, Rod Berman and Brennan Swain, discuss the emerging market for wearable technology, the likelihood of growth in the market, and the issues companies face while protecting this new intellectual property.

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But, in general, you have to promptly file patent applications. You can file a trademark application any time, but the date of filing of a trademark application gives you potentially worldwide priority, so it's important to file trademark application quickly–and if you're going to file applications outside the United States, to file within 6 months of your U. Brennan Swain: All right, so for a filing patents and trademarks, those are offensive filings.Rod, we've all heard about wearables–but what is it?Rod Berman: Wearable technology normally would be considered to be anything that's wearable, that has technology.Rod Berman: Well, probably the most important time frame is patent time frame.In most foreign countries, and we assume that the wearable technology will be sold outside of the United States, patent applications have to be filed before there is any public disclosure or commercialization.And, also to determine whether or not your technology might be patentable.

You can be certain that companies like Apple and Samsung are incredibly active in filing patent applications.

It could involve patenting the technology; it could involve branding the name; it could involve the packaging and how the packaging looks; it could involve copyrighting the instructions–there might be aspects of it that are best protected by contract.

If you take a look at Fitbit, for example, you can see that the packaging has language that's copyright. The Fitbit device itself is covered by patents, whether it's on the band or the actual computer software inside the device.

Not just on my part, but on the part of those in our department, and the lawyers in our firm that help make the wearable technology practice at the very high end of first-rate.

Brennan Swain: What does a company have to do to protect its investment and wearable technology?

Brennan Swain: What in particular gives you qualifications in this area?