The apparel industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by rise in e-commerce and personalization and growing importance of technologies such as 3D imaging, cloud, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 57,000 patents filed and granted in the apparel industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cloud in apparel: 3D garment modelingBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 36,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the apparel industry, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

3D garment modeling is a key innovation area in cloud

3D garment modeling refers to the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and 3D imaging software to create accurate digital representations of garments to analyze their fit and appearance on a particular body type. It helps manufacturers produce clothing that fit better for each body type.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 100 companies, spanning technology vendors, established apparel companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of 3D garment modeling.

Key players in 3D garment modeling – a disruptive innovation in the apparel industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to 3D garment modeling

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Magic Leap 67 Unlock Company Profile
Metail 72 Unlock Company Profile
Zazzle.Com 28 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 14 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 61 Unlock Company Profile
eBay 88 Unlock Company Profile
adidas 19 Unlock Company Profile
Bit Body 9 Unlock Company Profile
Jins 8 Unlock Company Profile
Houzz 24 Unlock Company Profile
Specsavers Optical Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 22 Unlock Company Profile
Minted 7 Unlock Company Profile
Seiren 7 Unlock Company Profile
Gemvara 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kimberly-Clark 6 Unlock Company Profile
Marxent Labs 13 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 5 Unlock Company Profile
Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault 10 Unlock Company Profile
Levi Strauss 12 Unlock Company Profile
swatchbook 7 Unlock Company Profile
CLO Virtual Fashion 7 Unlock Company Profile 32 Unlock Company Profile 21 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 5 Unlock Company Profile
Cimpress 5 Unlock Company Profile
Snap 14 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 15 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

eBay is one of the leading patent filers in 3D garment modeling. Some other key patent filers in the space include Metail and Magic Leap. Metail provides technologies such as VStitcher and EcoShot to large-scale retailers and manufacturers such as Puma, Walmart, and Otto Group to help them establish a higher degree of control over the look and fit of their products.

In terms of application diversity, Magic Leap is the leader, while Microsoft and Apple stood in the second and third positions, respectively.

By geographic reach, Magic Leap held the top position, followed by Metail and Zazzle.Com.

3D garment modeling enables manufacturers to maintain higher levels of quality control, while reducing the effort required in design and production. This enables manufacturers to reduce their cost of production, while increasing customer satisfaction levels.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the apparel industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing in Retail and Apparel.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.