Posts Written By: Brian Finch

How Local Regulations Can Kill AR Mobile Games

In January 2017, Milwaukee County started requiring makers of location-based augmented reality games to apply for a permit before placing points of interest in Milwaukee parks. Luckily, in July, this regulation was ruled as unconstitutional by the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Unluckily, the court’s reasoning left open plenty of room for a second ordinance. You […]

An Analysis of ZeniMax’s and Oculus’s Legal Arguments over a Permanent Injunction of Rift Sales

ZeniMax was recently awarded a $500 million judgment for Oculus’s breach of a non-disclosure agreement in addition to Oculus’s infringement of ZeniMax’s copyrights and trademarks. ZeniMax then moved for a permanent injunction, which would stop all sales of the Oculus Rift. The arguments regarding the injunction have been filed mostly unsealed, allowing us to dig […]

Exploring Industry Uses of Virtual Reality: Medical

After first donning a virtual reality headset, a common reaction is rampant speculation. What use could this technology have beyond mere entertainment? One of the fields many are experimenting with is medical. Medical uses for virtual reality fall into two broad categories: 1. as a training aid or visualizer prior to an invasive procedure; and […]

Recently Published: Taking a dive into Oculus’s hand tracking technology

A patent application owned by Oculus for “Optical Hand Tracking in Virtual Reality Systems” was published earlier this month. I have provided a link to the patent application here. First, here’s a quick brief on the mode of operation for the Oculus System. The Oculus Rift headset has a number of infrared LEDs placed on […]

Tracing VR’s Lineage: Virtual Reality in 1990

Virtual Reality is often thought of as a groundbreaking and new technology, but it is actually the result of a sporadic course of development dating to at least the 1950s. I have written earlier about a patent from 1957 which discloses a Head Mounted Display (HMD) which closely resembles modern HMDs. Moving forward in time […]

A Summary of ZeniMax’s Argument for an Injunction on the Oculus Rift

Earlier this year, ZeniMax won a judgment for $500 million against Oculus Rift and other related parties. After winning that judgment, ZeniMax motioned for an injunction preventing the sale of the Oculus Rift. As always, there are a number of misconceptions about what ZeniMax is arguing and their likelihood of success. News articles regarding high […]

Recently Published: A Review of Magic Leap’s Newest Public Patent Application

Every month or so, I will be covering a newly published patent application for virtual reality. My methodology is simple: search for patents containing the phrase “virtual reality,” and sort by newest. Keep in mind that patent applications typically publish 18 months from the earliest claimed priority date. First up is an application for using […]

VR Explained for Attorneys (in under 400 words)

Last week, Zenimax was awarded a $500 million judgment against Oculus. While the virtual reality industry may have been flying under the radar, after this recent court case many lawyers have started to take notice. For busy attorneys now delving into the VR industry – what is it? VR is experienced through a “headset” that […]

What Virtual Reality has in Common with Trolls, Railroads, and Sharks

Patent trolls (also called non-practicing entities) seem likely to make an inroad into VR, given the rapid pace of technological progress and current case law interpreting 35 U.S.C. 101 (patent eligible subject matter). The Oculus DK1 was the first HMD to bring VR to the mainstream, released to Kickstarter backers around 2013. ~3.5 years later, […]

USPTO Granted a Patent for the Oculus DK1 the Same Month the DK1 was Discontinued

In a fast changing market, even a couple of weeks can seem like an eternity. Consumer products may have an effective life span of a year or less before a new version comes out to replace the old version. While this is a sign of a healthy market, the speed can certainly cause some strains […]