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Headquartered within steps of the USPTO with an affiliate office in Tokyo, Oblon is one of the largest law firms in the United States focused exclusively on intellectual property law.

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Norman Oblon with Stanley Fisher and Marvin Spivak launched what was to become Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP, one of the nation's leading full-service intellectual property law firms.

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued final rules implementing the inventor's oath or declaration provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) on August 14, 2012.

Augmented Reality (AR) Patent Found Invalid by District Court in NantWorks vs. Niantic

  • January 23, 2023
  • Newsletter
  • AI & IP Update - January 2023 Newsletter

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In a patent infringement suit brought by NantWorks, LLC, targeting the creators of augmented-reality (AR) game app Pokémon Go, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, of the Northern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendant, Niantic, Inc., and invalidated NantWorks’ patent (U.S. Patent No. 10,664,518) directed to the mapping of AR objects and their appearance on a device’s display. In the order dated January 13, 2023, Judge Beeler found that the claims of the patent are directed to an abstract idea and thus not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. §101.

NantWorks had argued that the claims were directed to solving a technical problem in AR systems by providing AR content by placing the correct virtual objects in the correct location of an AR experience.  However, Judge Beeler agreed with Niantic’s assertion that the claims are directed to a straight-forward concept akin to providing information to a user based on a location on a map.

In particular, the element of Claim 1 that recites “render the at least one of the one or more AR content objects that is associated with the identified tile subarea on the display based on a view interest,” and the element of dependent Claim 7 which recites “wherein the at least one of the one or more AR content objects is rendered on the display as an overall of an image related to the real world” were collectively interpreted as being equivalent to putting “stickers on a map.” 

This case demonstrates potential challenges to obtaining valid U.S. patents in the fields of augmented reality and virtual reality. 

The case is NantWorks LLC et al. v. Niantic Inc., case number 3:20-cv06262, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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