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The Next Big Thing

By Pamela Jones

An application filed with the USPTO on August 21, 2011 and published on February 21, 2013 suggests that a new platform for the distribution of audiovisual content may be immerging in the not-too-distant future. At first blush, the hype around Apple's patent, dubbed the "iWatch", and news of Samsung's "Altius", may have already faded from the headlines, but this patent application may be a harbinger of the next big thing. Owners of copyrightable content who carefully parse out the bundle of copyrights, and their attorneys who draft "rights" definitions should take note, in order to avoid granting rights that one day soon may become a separate licensable platform.

Last week's story, as reported by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg et al., describes a "flexible communication device linked to a portable electronic device worn by the end-user". The speculation is that the "slap bracelet' would link to the computer by means of Bluetooth or possibly Wi-Fi. Earlier patents filed by Apple for "solar cell multi-touch panels", "curved glass" and "shake to charge" technology, in combination with this recently publicized patent, suggest that engineers may have overcome what experts hypothesize is the greatest challenge to wearable computers, battery life.

By all accounts, the terms "wristwatch" or "slap bracelet" are misnomers for what the patent, and prognosticators, suggest this device may ultimately be capable of delivering, including a credit card replacement (referred to by some as the "iWallet"), a health monitor and the real time display of video content. In view of the foregoing, it is more important than ever to carefully craft "rights" definitions and always include a reservation of rights provision when licensing audiovisual content.

US Patent Application 20130044215

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 25, 2013 9:18 AM.

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