Myotest Running Patent
In some ways, Myotest is similar to Garmin-Firstbeat in that they own a portfolio of patents for performance sports algorithms. Myotest seems to be more skewed towards algorithms for running mechanics and biomechanics, whereas Garmin-Firstbeat is strong with physiology algorithms although there is a crossover between the two. Naturally, there are several other companies developing algorithms in these fields too including Apple, Polar, Coros and more besides.
The benefit of owning a patent for a novel invention is that other companies cannot then use an identical method without paying a fee. Thus patents are worth money and companies, like Nokia, with a huge patent portfolio, can make a business out of licencing patents and suing companies who infringe them. The value of a patent portfolio cannot be underestimated and can be the sole reason why some smaller companies are acquired.
Myotest’s Latest Patent
Based in Sion, Switzerland since 2004, Myotest has now been granted over 55 patents and the latest is a U.S. patent (US 10,881,905 B2) protecting their method and device for detecting asymmetries in a user’s movement with an accelerometer. This invention enables Myotest to accurately calculate a wide range of biomechanical parameters from a single device, including key metrics such as running asymmetry, balance, explosive power, resistance, stability, and more. The device can then suggest a training plan built from these parameters, designed to improve a runner’s technical and muscular abilities. Benefits include the ability to ultimately determine the best equipment that suits an athlete’s form.
This press release from Myotest extends interest beyond this one specific patent. It also signals that they have a depth of knowledge with sports mechanics and being a significant owner of some of the fundamental patents, other companies might perhaps not want to infringe them!
That said, it can be difficult for smaller companies to enforce their patent claims against larger firms that can drag out proceedings and who might use tactics to dispute your other patents in your portfolio if things get tricky (I cycle with patent lawyers!!)
Ultimately though, as we saw with Garmin’s acquisition of Firstbeat, patents are worth money…sometimes BIG money.