Meta Is Being Sued by Immersion for Copying VR Technology Key to Metaverse Gaming

Immersion Corp has just sued Meta. It claims that the company has built its industry-leading headsets by infringing on the smaller company's patents. It has alleged that in a lawsuit filed recently. According to Immersion, The Meta Quest 2, which dominates the market, infringes six patents covering haptic technology.

For those unaware, in video game systems and controllers, haptics play a key role. They allow a user to experience vibrations that are very similar to real-life forces, such as blocking a punch when playing a virtual boxing game. The complaint by Immersion was filed on Thursday in a federal court in Waco, Texas.

This development could be huge for Meta, whose CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has committed to spending $10 billion per year to create a virtual-reality-enabled metaverse. Meta Quest 2 is doing well in terms of boosting revenues too. The sales of Meta Quest 2 reached 8.7 million units in 2021. It's almost twice as compared to the previous year. The company also owns 80% of the market.

The Aim

With this lawsuit, Immersion seeks a court order that would block Meta's use of the infringing technology. It is also after, as of yet, unspecified damages.

Meta representatives haven't responded on the matter. Several requests for comments have been made.

The case is Immersion Corp. v. Meta Platforms Inc., 22-cv-541, US District Court, Western District of Texas (Waco), and the following patents are involved:

Ø  US Patent no 10,664,143 - This patent is about haptically enhanced interactivity

Ø  US Patent no 10,269,222 - This patent is about systems with wearable tech featuring haptic output

Ø  US Patent no 10,248,298 - This patent is about haptically enhanced interactivity

Ø  US Patent no 9,727,217 - This patent is about haptic interactive content

Ø  US Patent no 8,896,806 - This patent is about context-dependent haptics

Not the First Time

This isn't the first time Immersion, a company specializing in haptics patents, is suing a big name. In fact, it is known for taking on some of the world's largest companies in licensing disputes. The company sued Microsoft and Sony in 2002 and sued Apple in 2016.

Also, it isn't the first time a smaller tech company has sued a major company. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung have all been sued in the past for similar patent infringements. Most of those matters have been settled out of court.

The Sad Reality

As tech giants are investing more and more money in exploring the Metaverse and Web 3.0, they are overtaking smaller companies that have made considerable progress in this regard. Usually, the Silicon giants gobble up the fringe companies unless some company like Immersion dares to stand up to them. We need more such daring companies like Immersion if we don't want the tech world to be dominated by Facebook, Google, and other tech giants.

In other news, DC is also suing Mark Zuckerberg for his alleged role in the data breach that allowed political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to target Facebook users during the 2016 presidential election. It seems the road is bumpy for Zuckerberg and his company.



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