Patents, Technology

Wearable Technology Invites Legal Challenges, Dumb Traffic Tickets

As humanity veers closer to becoming straight-up cyborgs, it was only a matter of time before the law started messing with the course of wearable technology. We’re not ready to deal with a world where we’re all little Robocops accessing the Internet in real-time with a literal blink of an eye. And that means it’s time for some square-peg-round-hole legal challenges.

Someday we’ll have a legal answer for Google Glass. For now, we’ll just have to agree that they look stupid….

Catherine Ho of the Washington Post’s Capital Business looked at the course of wearable technology and the law:

The laws that serve as the basis for these actions — patent law, tort law — have been around for centuries. But increasingly, they are being applied to new and fast-growing technology found in products ranging from smart watches that monitor your heartbeat, to devices that track calorie intake and sleep patterns.

“Any area of the law will be impacted by these new technologies,” said Lisa Adelson, a patent attorney at Saidman DesignLaw Group, a boutique Silver Spring law firm that represents companies, including Apple and Toyota, in defending and procuring patents for computers, car parts, furniture and other products. Adelson spoke last week at Fashion Law Week DC, a week-long event held at Howard Law School that addresses legal issues in the fashion industry.

“It’s a wearable technology item, but the underlying law is traditional patent law, the same law that applies to chemical compounds,” Adelson said of the Adidas lawsuit, which alleges that Under Armour infringed on several Adidas patents that are now used in MapMyFitness apps.

This brings us back to President Obama’s commitment to reforming the patent laws in this country.

But while the patent world fights over that, California is busy giving out dumb tickets over Google Glass, misapplying analogous laws:

In October, a California woman was pulled over for speeding while wearing Google Glass and cited for having a video screen on while driving — the closest existing violation because California vehicle code does not specifically mention computer-in-eyeglasses technology. It is believed to be the first-ever citation over Google Glass.

So if you’re going for a spin in California, take off your Google Glass and try driving like a human instead of a Turian.

Recalls, lawsuits, traffic tickets — wearable tech is starting to get attention from legal system
[Capital Business / Washington Post]

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