Augrealed Reality Startup Nreal was a hit at this month's CES event, and some even called the device a worthy challenger to Magic Leap One.
However, the company's track record in the US may not be as smooth as it first appeared when gaming giant Epic Games filed a lawsuit challenging the AR recovery ahead of its launch.
In a contest filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Epic, in August 2018, Games, the company behind the Unreal Engine (which many developers use to create AR and VR experiences) and games Hits like Fortnite and Gears of War challenge Nreales right to use the name as a trademark for its wearable AR system in the US.
Now, after months of silence, Nreal has finally responded to the challenge of Epic Games with its own lawsuit filed with the USPTO.
Epic Games' challenge to Neal trademark application Jan. 2018 argues
"NREAL" and "UNREAL" are quite similar to the visual perspective, the only difference in the spelling that the sign of the applicant is not a single vowel in According to Opposer's UNREAL trademarks, the appearance of the applicant's trademark is not sufficiently different from that of Opposer's UNREAL brands, "Epic Games said.
"Applicants Services include" Design and Development of Computer Game Software and Virtual Reality Software "and" Computer Programming ", which are closely related to Opposer's Goods, in the context of software related to development used by video games and virtual reality and augmented reality software. "
Despite this challenge, Nreal's parent company Hangzhou Tairuo Technology does not make any move, the response to Epic Games, filed January 21, denies any allegation of similarity or confusion.  "Opposer [Epic Games] is unlikely to be damaged by the filing of Hangzhou Tairuo's NREAL mark, and therefore can not stand in the way of the claimant's trademark," reads Nreale's team response.
"The Hangzhou Tairuos trademark NREAL is sufficiently distinctive and unlike the trademarks of Opposer to avoid confusion, misrepresentation or error in the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of Hangzhou Tairuo's products with Opposer."
But it's the next passage from Nreal that weighs on credibility and suggests that this can become a fairly contentious litigation.
"The trademarks of Opposer [Epic Games] are not known or famous, and the" UNREAL "element in the Opposer trademarks is commercially weak and diluted, and therefore Opposer is not authorized to use the term", the NReal Answer. "According to information and belief, the trade channels in which both parties sell their products consist of sales to discerning buyers who make purchasing decisions and are unlikely to be confused."
Legal jargon and standard trademark dispute aside; The name Unreal Engine of Games is not famous and "commercially weak" will probably not lower the temperature in this legal battle.
And if Nreal was led by a tiny bootstrapped team, this could be the end of the story, with Epic Games due to their sheer size and resources. However, it turns out that Nreale's backstory is not so easy or fragile.
Nreal was co-founded in Beijing, China. Xu Chi, who worked as a software engineer at Magic Leap from 2015 to 2016. and shortly before that, he was working as a GPU architecture intern at Nvidia, earning his doctorate at the University of Minnesota, and received his undergraduate degree in the same concentration at Zhejiang University in China.
After a magic leap in the Magic Leap era, Xu and his team in 2017 raised start-up capital from investors Shunwei Capital and Aplus Capital (also known as Hongtai Capital Holdings) of approximately $ 15 million. Dollar. Why are these supporters important? Now, Shunwei Capital, which manages $ 3 billion in funds, is also a key investor in the Xiaomi smartphone powerhouse and online video giant iQiyi.
Translation: Nreal is not a pioneer, it has powerful powers.
The next step for both companies, according to a spokesperson for the USPTO, is to engage in a six-month discovery phase during which they exchange information and try to either resolve the case and dismiss it, or eventually submit all results to the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for a final decision. In some cases, the procedures could take years.
However, this current dispute does not prevent Nreal from using the name Nreal in the US. If Nreal launches its product under the name Nreal in the US and then loses the startup to Epic Games, it could come in the future to a claim in another court.
And before you consider that as a well financed David (Nreal) versus an overly resilient Goliath, consider the Considering claims in Epic Games seriously. Objection filing. Both companies are in the AR room, so that the pronunciation and the brand dynamics of both could be confusing for some. In addition, a quick Google search adds some weight to Epic Games' claim. Look for "Nreal + HoloLens" and Google asks if you mean "Unreal + HoloLens". The same thing happens when you replace HoloLens and Magic Leap. In this context, the claim of Epic Games does not seem so reckless. Even so, Nreal has not even announced a sales date for its Nreal Light device, so the legal implications of its potential sale in the US play no part At this point, not even considered. However, if the positive reactions to the Nreal Light were indicative of CES, Nreal has a great incentive to bring its product into the hands of US consumers as quickly as possible, whether Epic Games likes it or not.