While Microsoft has made a stronger gaming push with its Windows Mixed Reality headsets in partnership with numerous hardware vendors, its HoloLens augmented reality hardware has been more widely adopted across enterprise. HoloLens, however, could be facing a new legal hurdle thanks to Connecticut-based HoloTouch, which alleges that Microsoft infringed two of its patents going back over a decade.
As noted by Engadget, the patent infringement suit filed requests a jury trial and triple damages because Microsoft "wilfully" knew about the HoloTouch patented technology for quite some time. In fact, HoloTouch says that it first contacted Microsoft to seek a partnership back in 2006. Microsoft didn't respond to HoloTouch but then filed its own patent in 2013, even referring to HoloTouch's patents as "prior art." HoloTouch adds that it continued to reach out to Microsoft after that, both in 2015 and 2016 to request some sort of licensing deal for the patents it believed Microsoft was using without permission. Again, there was no response from Microsoft.
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HoloTouch's tech essentially enables users to interact with machines via holographic images. It has patents on the tech in other countries as well, including the UK, Canada, Japan and Australia. HoloTouch says others have been using its tech, so this is probably the first of multiple lawsuits the company will be filing.