Facebook Buys Oculus and its Patents


Oculus has built cool technology, and they’re serious about patent protection. I doubt patents played a huge role in the 2 Billion dollar acquisition, but the Oculus patents are worth checking out, and they might grant a glimpse into the future of VR.  

A recent design patent for the Rift goggles. This is a smart move for Oculus.  Design patents are cheap and provide great protection for the visual appearance of a product.

Notice all the broken lines in this design patent drawing:

Oculus Rift Design patent

Broken lines generally lead to stronger design patents by reducing the number of design elements a competitor needs to copy to trigger patent infringement. It is only the solid lines in the design patent that are compared to the competitor’s product in the infringement analysis.  (“competitor” and “copy” are used loosely, neither is required for infringement. That is, a non-competitor who sells a similar looking product by sheer coincidence -no copying at all- can still infringe).

The Surface of Revolution is the Reflected Map Surface.

System and Method for Creating and Displaying Map Projections related to Real-Time Images, Patent App US20110188760. This looks like a utility patent for a virtual map projected onto the sky. I’m looking forward to the future.

Reflected Map Surface

 

oculus patent - reflected map surface views

 

“The Surface of Revolution is the Reflected Map Surface.” I don’t know what means, but it seems like a good marketing slogan for a reflected map surface VR product.

Surface of Revolution is the Reflected Map Surface

Generating Stories in Time and Space

System and Method for Generating Stories in Time and Space, patent application 2007/0132767. Another interesting utility patent from Oculus:

oculus patent

Signup for occasional Law & Tech updates. No spam.