Head for the hills! Patent tolls running amok! The nascent field of AR is about to become a target of the patent suits planned, and Microsoft HoloLens is one of the first names on the list.
Fact is, patent holding companies were practically waiting for the perfect opportunity to wield their powers by claiming infringements, and making a quick buck off of big companies that want nothing to do with spending money on long court fights.
And with all the progress HoloLens has made these last couple of years, it was the perfect time.
Microsoft has been targeted with a new suit filed earlier this month by a company based in Connecticut over its HoloLens technology, that it claims allegedly infringes on two holographic image patents that have been around for more than 10 years.
What’s worse, this is likely the first in what could be a wave of suits related to the patent.
The company in question is HoloTouch, and it apparently deals in human machine interface technology, or in other words, ways for people to interact with devices without actually touching them.
It has filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Microsoft has willfully infringed on two patents and seeking a jury trial and triple damages:
“Our company will vigorously pursue its statutory remedies against all who take advantage of our innovative technology without the compensation provided by law, particularly in light of current fascination with touchless, holographic controls and operation of devices using them across commercial spectra.”
The first patent was awarded in 2002, the other in 2004. And not only is the technology patented in the United States, the company also holds patents in other countries like Japan, Australia, Canada, and the UK, and has patents pending in the European Union.
They come prepared.
It appears that Microsoft is the first of many in the AR and VR space that HoloTouch will target, as the company has said that other similar lawsuits are currently being prepared. These will soon be filed against other technology giants.
Be interesting to see where exactly these end up.