Magic Leap Suit Against Nreal Falls Short
Magic Leap will have to retool its IP theft lawsuit against Nreal before it can proceed with pursuing claims against the Chinese startup, a California court has ruled. This is coming at a time when the mixed reality company is grappling with a raft of challenges.
Magic Leap sued Nreal founder and the company he founded for stealing the secrets of its wearable augmented reality technology. A U.S. District judge has now ruled that Magic Leap hasn’t been specific enough in its lawsuit against the company’s former software engineer Chi Xu who went on to found Nreal. Nreal now sells a competing AR wearable, the Nreal Light, which has shown more promise than Magic Leap’s own wearables.
Nreal launched its mixed reality wearables during the CES 2019 with a retail price of $499. Following the unveiling, Magic Leap had claimed that the Nreal glasses were “strikingly similar” to its Magic Leap One mixed reality device.
Following the Magic Leap allegations, Nreal had filed a motion to have the original lawsuit dismissed. The US District Judge for North California Lucy H. Koh ruled that Magic Leap had not adequately stated its case against Xu’s alleged exploitation of Magic Leap’s proprietary information to develop its own mixed reality glasses. In a nutshell, the Magic Leap’s lawsuit against Xu and Nreal was unsubstantiated and the claims as expressed in the lawsuit were not viable. The case has now been thrown out.
The decision by the US court has come at a tough time for Magic Leap which has been grappling with lackluster sales and has had to pivot towards enterprise tech, abandoning its earlier consumer drive. The company is also reportedly still looking for a buyer and has had to lay off more than 1,000 employees this year which represents 50% of its workforce.