Microsoft hit with patent infringement suit over HoloLens tech

Microsoft is now being sued over alleged patent infringement for tech used in its HoloLens mixed reality headset.

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.