Meta allegedly copied the virtual reality technology needed for metaverse games, according to a complaint by US haptic technology company Immersion.

Immersion, a US haptic technology provider, said in a lawsuit Thursday that Meta created its market-leading virtual reality (VR) headset by infringing patents it owns. The platform, filed in federal court in Waco, Texas, alleges that Meta’s virtual and augmented reality (AR) systems, including Meta Quest 2, infringe six Immersion patents that cover various uses of tactile effects in connection with such AR/VR systems. . Immersion is seeking a court order blocking Meta’s use of the infringing technology and recovering unspecified damages.

Immersion Corporation is a leading innovator in haptic feedback technology, also known as haptic technology. The company invents, accelerates and scales tactile experiences, providing technology solutions for mobile phones, cars, games and consumer electronics. In gaming systems and controllers, tactile sensations allow users to experience vibrations that mimic real forces, such as blocking a punch in a virtual boxing game. Haptic technologies create an immersive and realistic experience.

Haptics enhances digital interaction by appealing to users’ sense of touch. On Thursday, Immersion announced that it had filed a complaint against Meta. According to the complaint, Meta infringed on at least six haptic technology patents owned by Immersion. Immersion and its employees have been hard at work for nearly 30 years to invent innovative haptic technologies that allow people to use their sense of touch to interact with products and experience the digital world around them,” said Francis José, Immersion CEO and General Counsel.

“Our intellectual property is relevant to many of the most important and advanced deployments of haptic technology, and in the case of AR/VR, haptics are critical to an immersive user experience,” added Immersion CEO. . As a reminder, Meta Quest 2 sales reached 8.7 million units in 2021, doubling from a year earlier, and the company holds 80% of the market. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to spend $10 billion a year to realize his vision of a virtual reality metaverse.

In addition, Zuckerberg announced last week that the metaverse he seeks to build would suffer “significant” short-term financial losses, especially in the first five years. The CEO explained that many of Meta’s “immersive web” products, once users are immersed in the virtual world, are unlikely to be viable for another 10 to 15 years. We want to make hardware as accessible as possible to everyone and ensure that the digital economy thrives,” Meta’s first spokesperson told shareholders.

While we are pleased to see Meta recognize the value of haptic experiences and have incorporated our haptic technology into their AR/VR systems as part of their multi-billion dollar effort to build the Metaverse and increase revenue from hardware, games and other virtual assets and advertising, it is important for us to protect our business from violating our intellectual property in order to preserve the investments we have made in our technology,” Jose said. He considers it important to recognize and respect Immersion’s know-how.

“We need to ensure that our intellectual property is recognized as a key feature in the emerging market for AR, VR and the metaverse, even when litigation is required,” he added. Immersion seeks a court ruling blocking Meta’s use of infringing technology and unspecified damages.

However, many believe that this complaint could be a way for Immersion to get attention again. Indeed, Immersion is widely known for being involved in licensing disputes and has previously taken on some of the biggest technology companies in the world. The San Jose, California-based company sued Microsoft in 2002, and Japanese giant Sony was embroiled in the lawsuit. In 2016, the company sued Apple. Most of these complaints would always have been settled out of court. With the advent of the Metaverse and Web3.0, the Meta seems to be their next candidate.

They are competitive trolls. I don’t think this is a major threat to Meta, one reviewer said. The next generation of augmented and mixed reality devices is at the forefront of all research and development. Many small businesses have made remarkable innovations in this area. However, eventually these fringe companies will be swallowed up by the Silicon Goliaths, unless someone like Immersion steps in front of them like Shepherd David! All it takes is a slingshot to bring them down.

Source: Immersive press release

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