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back to article Google plonks down cash for Foxconn's head-mounted display patents

Google has snapped up a parcel of patents from Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese electronic manufacturer more commonly known as Foxconn, in a move seemingly designed to bolster its Glass headsets against potential competitors. In a statement obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Hon Hai described the patents sold to the …

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Well bugger me!

An article about Foxconn, and ne'er a sneering reference to Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well bugger me!

Heh, I wonder if el reg will quietly drop the 'Foxconn rebrander' tag ...

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Linux

The usual copycats will really have to Think Different this time

Unless they stick to their tactic of using the best court money can buy in Texas, of course.

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Not sure this is about supressing the competition

more preventing the competition suppressing competition. Google tend to use patents defensively.

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Unhappy

Re: Not sure this is about supressing the competition

How do you know that Apple might already have a license for those patents from Hong Hai?

None of us do.

That is why we should just wait and see what the 'Playbook' (pun intended) reveals.

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I'm sure I saw

Google Glass on a Jem'Hadar and Vorta command crew when on board the Dominion space ships...

http://www.yourprops.com/Vorta-Command-Headset-original-movie-prop-Star-Trek-Deep-Space-Nine-TV-1993-YP23367.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sure I saw

Exactly what I was thinking...

as with most of these patents, I am always shocked that they are able to patent them... usually the patent describes something so insignificant that its a few minutes by a coder to think it up, and not really an innovation... (bounce back, really that is patentable???)

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Gold badge

Re: I'm sure I saw

1993, eh? I'm sure you can go back earlier than that for the basic idea. As for the realisation, I attended a local (and therefore probably not terribly bleeding edge) tech show around that time and wore a VR helmet that tracked my head movements and delivered a head up display. I dare say the technology is smaller now, but I see nothing remotely patentable in any of these glass-related stories. Utterly obvious ever since the invention of cinema or TV and at least two decades of actual prior art.

But of course, none of that is relevant under the US system of "file and sue".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sure I saw

Your Right, however as prior art in sci fi, how about in Stargate SG-1 (season 4 - Episode 17 - The Serpent's Venom) Sams Dad (Jacob) and later in the episode Jack O'Connell (with two L's hehe, sorry SG1 joke) also had a very similar HUD Google Glass esk system.

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Bronze badge

Re: I'm sure I saw

There are examples of Glass-like displays all over science fiction books. Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson leaps to mind although, I believe that tech projected the image directly on the retina. I vaguely recall another book (Michael Crichton?) where a company had it's records accessible through a VR interface so a user could "walk" through the data just as if they were in a traditional office with file cabinets. I'm sure most people who read the articles here could come up with many more examples.

There should be a way to challenge a patent for a nominal fee through the patent office and not through the courts. The reason corporations will file for patents that are obviously not virgin tech is that the court costs in patent disputes are generally too expensive for smaller companies and getting to the point where even large companies find budgeting the cost of the blood sucking lawyers difficult. I once received a patent violation notice from a competitors attorney and sent him prior art from the 1950's and the complaint was dropped. My company and the one with the patent both didn't have the funding to go to court and their attorney probably advised them that their patent was sunk. Attorney's usually bill much more per hour for court time (plus loads of assistants in the preparation) so the sleazy ones like to file suit whenever possible.

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Megaphone

Re: I'm sure I saw

"There should be a way to challenge a patent for a nominal fee through the patent office and not through the courts."

There is-The USPTO has a website where you can provide them help. http://www.joelonsoftware.com/ has anarticle

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Re: I'm sure I saw

The apache gunship uses a see through hud monacle too.

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Black Helicopters

Re: I'm sure I saw

Several planes have similar head-mounted displays linked to the look-down/shoot-down radars and the like.

Usually slightly (or even) less fashionable than google's glasses, however.

Black helicopter for obvious reasons

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Re: I'm sure I saw

Philip - Thanks for the heads up!

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What?? No rash of intellectual property lawsuits around Google Glass?

A bold, new business practice in the mobile tech industry!

(Now, if they could just make Glass look good, and be less privacy-threatening)

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Mushroom

Re make Glass look good, and be less privacy-threatening

you have got it all wrong there. The orders from the NSA to Google were clear. Everything you get from every glass is also ours!

If not then our tame judges will ... No need to say anymore.

In the future any product/device that keeps things private will be subject to all sorts of attacks. DDOS and dawn raids by the IRS and worse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?? No rash of intellectual property lawsuits around Google Glass?

It's not a success yet. The lawsuits arrive after there's some profits made.

To make Glass look good I would give it a full multi-touch user interface, make it hand holdable and pocketable. Oh and you'll need a screen too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?? No rash of intellectual property lawsuits around Google Glass?

@AC 10:13.

It will be a success as it leaves both hands free to masturbate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What?? No rash of intellectual property lawsuits around Google Glass?

Both hands? Are you bragging again?

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Big Brother

Who has the miltary H.U.D. patents? They're NEXT!

Just think of all the military applications for these "GOOGLES" not to mention that the EULA will probably say that Schmidt and friends get to send any and all battle video straight to the news channels (for a rather princely sum) live as it happens.

The patents on military/aerospace Heads Up Displays are probably close to expiring in the next few years so using the same technology and stating it's for a different purpose is usually good enough (for the USPTO) for another 20 year stint on the gravy train.

There is already a way to take cell phone video and use it as a multi-user video surveillance system. These "GOOGLES" will be connected via cellular and wifi and thus could be networked into an inexpensive "Eye O' Sauron" system.

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