Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019 - 56

FOCUS

ADVANCED TEXTILES

A U.S. Air Force field training
exercise includes simulated
medical evacuations in extreme
cold weather, which demands
clothing and gear that will
protect in these conditions,
such as a cold-weather boot
developed by Propel LLC.
Photo: Senior Airman J. T.
Armstrong, U.S. Air Force.

Understanding IP law
Advice for innovators from innovators.
BY JANET PREUS

EDITOR'S NOTE

Select entrepreneurs were
asked to answer questions about
intellectual property (IP) law and
their experiences with it. Those
interviewed are at various stages
in their careers.

Smart comfort
Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Loomia creates
innovation in smart products and
related data services for the smart

Jeremy Wall is founder and CEO of Lumenus, a start-up company
based in Los Angeles, Calif., that develops technology to pioneer
the future of smart clothing and wearable technology.

Jeremy Wall is a young entrepreneur who has had quite a bit of attention with his technology
innovations for smart clothing and gear; he's also had his share of struggles along the learning
curve with launching a start-up.
"We have recently been granted our first patent and filed a continuation application, so
it's fairly top of mind," Wall says. Of paramount concern for Wall is the expense involved
with protecting intellectual property, an issue that "gets you on edge about patents," he says.
"One of the biggest things is knowing where you're going to be, as opposed to where
you're at today. When we first applied for our provisional [patent] in September 2015, our
business was so much different than it is today," Wall says. Because of that, the company has
had to pay to have its patent lawyer make changes-an expense that might have been avoided.
"It was all about here and now, and that just wasn't the right thing," he says. Rather than
focusing on the first product the company built, he wishes they would have asked, "Where
do we want to focus on business for growth?"
When you decide to pursue IP protection, Wall says you can start by asking a patent
attorney, but be prepared. "Before you do anything, you should look and see what's on
the market, and see if it's patented," he says. "Would they think you're interfering with
their patent? Do you have only one differentiator? That's thin. Five differentiators, for
example, are better.
"You need to know enough to provide the info the attorney needs," he says. "Make sure
you know what the process itself is; their job is the particulars ... Do your due diligence on
your own, but you gotta trust the experts ... A patent helps you sleep at night."

fabrics sector. Photo: Loomia.

Maddy Maxey is founder and technical lead at Loomia, based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The company creates innovation in smart products and related data services.

Maddy Maxey has been in the smart products business a bit longer than Wall, but she, too,
says, "I wish I would have known how expensive it can be!" She says her company has
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Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019

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