The augmented reality (AR) company Magic Leap has filed a lawsuit against its smaller competitor Nreal this week. Magic Leap has accused Nreal of stealing their design for AR glasses. The company blames Nreal, which is run by a previous Magic Leap employee, for taking its technology designs.
The founder of Nreal, Chi Xu, is taking all of the blame in the recent scandal. Xu worked for Magic Leap for almost a year between 2015 and 2016 and is accused of getting confidential design prototypes and using them for the Nreal Light glasses. Xu also said in an interview from earlier in the year that he learned a lot from the time he was working at Magic Leap. The experiences Magic Leap had with Chi Xu when working together is currently the only evidence available in the case. With both designs being released to the public, the similarities don’t look as promising as Magic Leap describes in their lawsuit.
So far, Nreal has not released an official response to the accusations and is still planning on releasing them this year. Although the glasses do share similar design features such as a power pack on the glasses frames, Magic Leap has also made a weaker claim that Nreal is simply copying their aesthetic. They argue that Nreal has reproduced their design font on their logo, and as copied the same use of whales in their advertisements. As this case unfolds, we can see if Nreal and Chi Xu are going to have to pay some form of financial compensation to Magic Leap for the design. However, because Magic Leap has had previous lawsuit scandals against them in the past, it seems unlikely that they are going to be able to win this court case.