You’re hearing a lot about virtual reality and augmented reality in every industry lately, and it seems there’s a major race in companies to innovate. Even if it seems that these technologies peaked in 2016, they still have a lot of room to expand into new creative possibilities. At the center of it all is not only tech innovation, but also being first to receive innovation credit.
A lot of big-name companies are already working on bringing some amazing things going beyond wearing headgear in VR. You’ll also see a lot more in augmented reality in the world of retail and other industries to enhance personal customer experiences. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning are at the forefront of new innovation.
With all of this happening at once, who’s going to ultimately win out? It all comes down to patenting these ideas before someone else does. Now that patent rules work on a “first to file” system, any company in these fields plays risk putting patents on the back-burner.
If you have a similar company, what’s your best course of action?
INVESTORS ARE READY, ONLY WITH PROTECTION
Creating innovations in VR and AR are going to have huge demand by tech investors who see the next big thing. This is probably why you’re in this industry to sell out to a major company and become the next overnight millionaire (or billionaire).
The problem is, investors aren’t going to bother if they see you’re careless with protecting your innovations. So many tech competitors are out there, and investors know if you don’t protect your assets, the chances are good you’ll lose out to someone else.
Proof of this comes in showing how many patents are already out there from the big VR players like Oculus, Microsoft, and PlayStation.
You can say the same about AR patents from the biggest company of all: Apple.
THE POTENTIAL OF BEING BLOCKED BY BIG COMPANIES
Companies like yours unable to realistically fight corporations like Apple could find itself in serious trouble if you don’t file a patent before they do. Once you hit the market with your VR or AR product, a major behemoth could send a cease & desist, forcing you to shut down your entire company after years of hard work.
So many stories are out there like this, and it’s only because too many tech companies think they should worry about patents later. These need attention before anything, including marketing.
Maybe you have other innovations to keep you in business. Regardless, shutting down your entire company due to one innovation you didn’t patent is the stuff of tragedy in today’s cutthroat business world.
DOING YOUR HOMEWORK ON WHICH COMPANIES HOLD PATENTS
In the VR industry, statistics show Sony is the top patent holder of virtual reality technology. Microsoft and Samsung are the other two, and the United States leads in VR patent count. Other countries have begun to catch up with us, including South Korea and China.
Having this in mind, it’s essential for you to do your homework on what’s already patented and what isn’t since you may collide with a recent innovation before you begin.
You have worthy sources for augmented reality patents as well, particularly through AugmentedReality.org. This site shows you the latest patents being filed every day, and it’s consistently busy. Just this last December alone, you can see dozens of patented innovations maybe or maybe not becoming mainstream soon.
Make sure you’re thoroughly educated on the patent process before you begin so you understand the procedures. Using sites like the World Intellectual Property Association is a great source to answer your most frequently asked questions.