Week 14 - Invention, Intellectual Property, and Income

This week was dedicated to intellectual property. Inventions are the result of a research but not necessarily the result of its primary goal. Most of the time the research leads instead to unexpected goals where an original invention arises. There are several solutions to protect the paternity of a creation. This week mainly focused on patents and copyrights and on the types of dissemination plan.

FAB ACADEMY 2020 source

20200429 invention from Academany on Vimeo.

My Assignment

This week assignment consisted in developing a plan for dissemination of the final project and preparing drafts of the summary slide (presentation.png, 1920x1080) and the video clip (presentation.mp4, 1080p HTML5, < ~minute, < ~10 MB) then putting them in the root directory.


My final project consists in a smart thigh compression sleeve that might be able to be able to measure the displacements of the thigh soft tissues. More information about it can be found here.

As I am not rich, and probably never will be, I found useless to waste my time on a patent request procedure because, as explained during the lecture, there is no organization watching closely compliance with the patents and punishing those who would break the law. As a consequence, a patent is meant to allege the paternity of a creation but does not prevent huge loss a money in trials before a court if you have a litigation with a company that can afford a layers cabinet on daily basis. Nevertheless I found useful to check, as a state of the art, the currently available patents related to my project. On Google Patents I looked for "smart clothes" and I found several patents listed hereinafter:

I was quite surprised when I saw such general and common claims in patents about smart clothes as this one:

A body garment for detecting body kinematics comprising:
a plurality of sensors distributed throughout the garment, each sensor being configured to sense body state information from a local surface area of a body part covered by the garment; and
a plurality of sensor nodes in proximity to the plurality of sensors respectively, each sensor node including a processor and configured to receive sensing body state information from at least one of the plurality of sensors;
wherein each processor is configured to receive body state information locally from one or more sensors in proximity to said each processor; to utilize the information to determine a local surface shape of the surface of a portion of the body part covered by said one or more sensors; and to exchange local surface shape information with neighboring sensor nodes, and
wherein at least one processor of at least one sensor node utilizes the local surface shape information received from the sensor nodes to generate one overall model of a surface shape of the entire surface of the body part covered by the garment.

To me such a common claim seems really limiting for research in the future.

More related topics

This week I also received an interesting article from my instructor Gilles Decroly. The article was about a highly shape-adaptive, stretchable design based on conductive liquid for energy harvesting and self-powered biomechanical monitoring.

Dissemination plan

It is difficult to decide for a dissemination plan as long as my machine design is far from being finished and operational. As a consequence I should first focus on finishing my machine to be able to choose the right dissemination plan. It already know what might be the added value of my project, it can be used in many fields for many purposes, but I still need to figure out if the concept can reach the reality. Actually I don't know if the main idea of my project can be patented but, as I already said it previously, I cannot afford patents and even if I could patents can be very money consuming if there is a litigation.

Another choice is the copyright. It is much less expensive and the procedure to have protect its own creation is much easier. In Belgium at the time of writing the procedure costs between 39€ and 159€.

I also explored another solution: the Creative Common License. This website provides a nice tool to generate common creative license icons by answering two questions:

Allow adaptations of your work to be shared?
Allow commercial uses of your work?

Here is the icon I finally got by answering the questions.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Presentation draft

This section still needs to be completed.