Wearable Tech World Feature Article
January 12, 2015

Major Fashion Retailers Named in Smart Shirt Suit

A number of brand-name companies, including Victoria’s Secret and Ralph Lauren, have been slapped with a lawsuit over an intelligent shirt technology.

Sarvint Technologies has filed complaints in the Northern District of Georgia for infringement of patents related to its Wearable Motherboard technology, which is the underpinning for an intelligent smart shirt garment that will be commercially available in spring 2015. It uses specialty fibers to measure vital signs such as heart rate, temperature, respiration rate and other health metrics, which can be monitored by a smartphone.

The suit names Athos Works and MAD Apparel, Carre Technologies (Hexoskin), OMsignal, Ralph Lauren, Sensoria, Textronics, Adidas North America and Victoria's Secret. The company said that they have all infringed on U.S. Patent No. 6,381,482, titled "Fabric or Garment with Integrated Flexible Information Infrastructure," and U.S. Patent No. 6,970,731, titled "A Novel Fabric-Based Sensor for Monitoring Vital Signs." The complaint seeks a judgment for infringement and requests a preliminary and permanent injunction against the infringing companies.

"Intellectual property is one of a technology company's most important and valuable assets," said Palaniswamy Rajan, a Sarvint co-founder. "Sarvint does not favor litigation, but we recognize that it is our duty to protect the company's intellectual property any time someone misappropriates it. We want these companies to discontinue business activities that infringe on our intellectual property."

Georgia Tech researchers and Sarvint co-founders Sundaresan Jayaraman and Sungmee Park invented the concept, which was featured in a special issue of LIFE Magazine entitled "Medical Miracles for the New Millennium" (Fall 1998). In November 2001, TIME Magazine named the smart shirt as one of the "Best Inventions of the Year." In July 2003, Newsweek Magazine featured it as one of the "10 Inventions That Will Change the World." In May 2006, Jayaraman was named a first prize winner in the Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge conducted by the History Channel, The National Inventors Hall of Fame and TIME Magazine. And in 2007, the smart shirt was featured on a program titled, “2057: The Body" on the Discovery Channel.

In April 2014, Georgia Tech Research awarded Sarvint an exclusive license to both patents, including the right to enforce the patents against infringers.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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