Microsoft hit with patent infringement suit over HoloLens tech

Connecticut-based technology company HoloTouch recently announced it has filed a patent infringement suit against Microsoft in the Southern District of New York (via Neowin). According to the filing, HoloTouch, which works to create ways for humans to interact with machines without touching them, alleges that Microsoft has infringed on two of its patents relating to interacting with holographic images.

In a statement, HoloTouch said:

Many businesses are using as well as making and selling products which involve interacting with holographic images of what would otherwise be keys or buttons of electronics or electro-mechanical devices to operate them. Without our consent, any of these activities violate our several issued patents and patents pending. In many cases, infringers of our patents have long been aware of our ownership and development of this technology, potentially subjecting them to enhanced damages in addition to regular penalties for patent infringement. Many infringers have signed confidentiality agreements with our company and been provided with in-person demonstrations of our innovative and fully tested technology.

According to the filing, HoloTouch says it initially approached Microsoft for a partnership in 2006, but Microsoft never responded. Microsoft later cited HoloTouch's patents as prior art in a 2013 patent filing, showing that it was aware of HoloTouch's patents. HoloTouch says it reached out to Microsoft in 2015 and 2016 to discuss arranging a licensing agreement for the patents in question, to no avail.

It sounds as if the suit against Microsoft may be the first of many. HoloTouch says that it is currently preparing complaints against other companies that it claims are infringing on its patents.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Oh well well MS fanbabies.   I guess Apple are not the only ones who rip other ideas off....ha ha ha!
  • Do u think that u are some cool dude now for saying that? Steve Adams: Typical keyboard warrior, lacks everyday knowledge of things, seeks thrills by acting a badass posting comments everywhere he can thinking that people will like him for it.. meanwhile still lives in his moms basement.
  • Hey....they are all the first to come out crying that apple stole this apple stole that.   TRUTH IS....everyone STEALS from EVERYONE.   FACT,  MS is not some little company in the corner with a halo shining brightly.   All i read on here is apple stole this from MS,  goggle stole that from MS.   Ha ha ha....fanbabies....I have not lived with my mother since I was 17.   I am now 41.   It is just fun to see fanboys....NOT JUST MS,  but from any side of ANYTHING get twisted up about stuff.   and see,  Someone say something TRUTHFUL.   You all come out....whineing and downvoting...BUT IT"S THE TRUTH....
  • wow 41 and still acting like a 7 year kid 👶
  • He's so mature lol
  • WAAAAhhhhh crybabies.
  • If you dig more into the issue, you could and should have found that MSFT rejected their licensing request for one reason or the other, they evidently did not reach a deal which prompted this brouhaha. So, MSFT legal team are all over this since 2013, and have its understanding since 2006. So, Chill there is more to this issue than you crying FOUL and WOLF. See Gregory C Newman comment on ONMSFT to the article "Microsoft sued over HoloLens patent infringement claims" "Gregory C Newman • 15 minutes ago
    Microsoft probably has enough cash to buy out theses guys if it has to.
    The trouble with patents is if a previous patent is worded to do what your device does, you have prove the way your device does it is not the same as the previous patent.
    If Microsoft Hololens does what their devices patent does but uses different equipment tech Microsoft is OK to use Hololens other wise no one can patent devices that do the same thing better than the previous patents and we have a situation of where new and better technology can not be used.
    That would hurt everybody"
  • We got some real idiots around here, ISO.
  • Yep are!
  • Steve, be nice or I'll tell your mother.
  • And thats going to do what....she lives hundreds of miles away from me....might work in your household where you still live with yours.
  • He's such a kid, he didn't even get the humor in your comment.
  • I did get the obviously missed the humor back...dummy 
  • The Apple-comparison is quite relevant, but in the reverse of what you're getting at... HoloTouch have patented using virtual controls? Sounds like Apple having patented swipe gestures; ridiculous!!! Maybe I should patent the handshake...?
  • Hahahaha, true...
  • Okay, first thought is these guys better not be a patent troll company. It looks like they only have a single product, some kind of holographic touch button. I'm not sure how similar the concepts are, so I'll be curious how this all plays out.
  • MS's lawyers are gonna smash them... Money talks, and that's the bottom line..
    Anyone who thinks right, wrong, or the law, means anything in this world is a dumb a$$, childish, petty, small minded, naive, immature, broke a$$ fool. Microsoft doesn't give a rats ass about this BS, and neither should we..... CASE CLOSED❗
  • People just wanting free money off someone else's success or an actual idea theft? Luckily The Law will rule that out.
  • Sorry but the only company that has a case for any of these things is Paramount Pictures or CBS. Star Trek is the prior art.
  • So wait.... They have a patent on pushing buttons? Kinda lame
  • Going to the HoloTouch website what they have created is a means to actually "interact" with a holographic button, so effectively you could have a holographic keyboard that can be used like a regular keyboard. That is a pretty significant technological advancement and I'm pretty sure if you had devised that then you would probably want to get paid for the many man hours required to make it happen.
  • But where Hololens use that tech? 
  • UUUUHHHHHH I have seen many buttons that you touch and swipe while in hololens.   Come on your eyes...
  • Really. Fake News lol 😁. Holotouch lol 😁 😭
  • Is not though
  • Wait so they made other companies sign confidentiality agreements and complain that the 'infringers' don't credit them thus stealing their idea. If you want them to talk about the partnership and your product openly thus acknowledging you developed the product thus giving credit and bolstering your rep + mindshare in the tech sphere, why would you stop them from talking about it in the first place? Lol.
  • Well, confidentiality agreements typically also say that the ideas being disclosed may only be used for reviewing a business relationship with the disclosing party.
  • @GraniteStateColin. I'm aware but you need to consider all angles. Life is not linear, it's both logical and illogical. Hence how trends develop and social norms change over time. One of the ways to protect an investment, is by obtaining mindshare. So by not allowing people to give credit to them, they reduce that to zero.
  • I'm surprised Daqri has also filed because I know someone that used to work there and they were rather butthurt about the HoloLens given that I believe their helmet came out first.
  • There are usually simple concepts that link these. It's a head mounted display using lenses
  • Wouldn't surprise me that the future presiding judge is a 950xl owner and a ticked off one at that. No Hololens for consumers anytime soon.
  • That would make him a whiney fanbaby....ha ha.   No matter what the judge uses...they will rule with LAW  not feelings like everyone here.
  • Tell that to the 9th district fanboys.
  • And Paris Hilton invented the selfie..
  • Nope, that would be Mr. Bean.
  • +1 LennH,  Most americans don't get Mr. Bean humor...goes right over their heads!