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Columbia Sportswear—Innovating with Schwabe

Overview

Getting wet isn’t always fun, especially when you’re wearing gear that is supposed to keep you dry.

That’s why Columbia Sportswear created OutDry® Extreme, an inside-out approach to raingear, which places waterproof technology on the outside and breathable, wicking material on the inside. The product was first announced in 2015, but the company spent a year and a half fine-tuning it and has put their gear through the test in some of the most extreme outdoor conditions possible to ensure it would meet its promise to keep people dry, no matter what.

Behind the scenes, Columbia teamed with Schwabe to protect itself and its innovative gear from competitive clutches.

Schwabe attorneys played a key role in the company’s innovation process, helping ensure that Columbia was guarded from competitors seeking to ride Columbia’s creative coattails. The Schwabe team interviewed and guided designers of the new gear down a path to patent protection, laying landmines along the way to prevent competitors from encroaching onto their IP landscape.

From innovation to manufacture to commercialization and branding, the Schwabe team has a deep understanding of Columbia’s business and the outdoor and athletic industry in general. We serve as confidants, who are as passionate about protecting our clients as we are about our clients’ products, being outdoor enthusiasts ourselves.

“The entire Schwabe team are invaluable, creative innovation partners and strategic advisors,” says Woody Blackford, Columbia’s VP of Design and Innovation, who has spent hours whiteboarding new inventions side by side with Schwabe attorneys and other members of his team. “They have absolutely allowed us to maximize our IP opportunities and are there every step of the way helping us optimize the overall management of our innovation platforms.”

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“The entire Schwabe team are invaluable, creative innovation partners and strategic advisors."

- Woody Blackford, VP of Design and Innovation