Chinese AR glasses startup nreal asks court to dismiss lawsuit for alleged technology theft
Chinese startup nreal has filed appeal to a federal court in California with a request to entirely throw out a lawsuit from an American developer Magic Leap. The accusing firm also produces AR devices.
In June of 2019, Magic Leap accused its former employee and subsequent founder of nreal, Xu Chi, of technology theft as well as stealing the design that was used in the development of their AR glasses.
Magic Leap claims that over the course of a year prior to leaving the company in 2016, Xu Chi planned to start a rival company in China. The firm believes that he took advantage of his official position to gain access to trade-secret data.
Nreal’s request for dismissal of the claim states that Magic Leap’s lawsuit is an attempt by the company to hinder the emergence of new players in the augmented reality market instead of focusing on the development of its own product.
Nreal goes on to say that in 2016, the American company previously sued two other former employees who were trying to open their own startups in the field of AR. Magic Leap had accused them of revealing trade secrets, but the court found no evidence, and the parties settled the lawsuit.
Now Magic Leap is once again making “vague and unsubstantiated claims against nreal,” the request says.
“We will fight against the unfounded claims of Magic Leap and will not allow them to distract us from the introduction of innovations and the creation of unique augmented reality products” says Xu Chi.
The American developer has charged Xu Chi with breach of contract, fraud and unfair competition, with nreal acting as co-defendant in the case.
Magic Leap launched its AR glasses in August of 2018. According to sources from The Information, the firm sold 6 thousand devices in the first six months of launch while it planned to sell 100 thousand in the first year.
Meanwhile, the Chinese company introduced its ‘nreal light’ mixed reality headset in January of 2019. The developer claims that the device is lighter and more convenient than the product manufactured by Magic Leap.