The legal drama surrounding the Chinese startup Nreal and Magic Leap continues, and now we finally have an update.
For months, the Magic Leap legal team tried with little success to contact Nreal and his founder, Chi Xu. But that all changed a few weeks ago.
In June we reported that Magic Leap had collected a long list of allegations against Xu and his company Nreal. In short, Magic Leap believes that Xu, who worked at Magic Leap before the release of the Magic Leap One, has stolen the company's ideas, designs and even the corporate font to help produce the Nreal Light and its branding.
When Next Reality Nreal asked for an answer to the allegations, the company denied the claims of Magic Leap.
"We have heard about recent media reports about Nreal and Magic Leap," a Nreal Next Reality spokesperson said in June. "Nreal believes that the allegations are false and anti-competitive in nature. Without additional information we cannot comment further."
At that time, however, Magic Leap had not yet received confirmation that Nreal has even received the formal legal documents that have informed Xu of the details of the lawsuit. Well, it turns out that actually finding Xu was part of the problem.
legal documents filed by Magic Leap in September, it was so hard to find Xu that the company had to hire private investigators to track Xu at addresses in San Jose, California and Seattle, Washington.
At the Seattle address, the leasing agent had no data from Xu and at the San Jose address, the private investigators at Magic Leap discovered that "another tenant who did not know Xu lived at the San Jose address (although they mailed for Chi Xu received it, which she turned into headquarters at that address). "
What is clear in the legal filing is that Magic Leap kept a close eye on Nreal's public transactions as she tried to contact the company, including checking the Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages of the company (and try to make contact through those means) and become acquainted with the appearances of Xu at AWE conference events. Attempts to reach the company through such public funds seem to have come after attempts to contact Xu and Nreal via e-mail, and standard mail became empty.
Magic Leap finally received a message on September 12 from Diana Rutowski, who now apparently works as a defender for Nreal in the US, by phone call to discuss the matter.
Insiders from Silicon Valley may be interested to know that the judge leading the case is US district judge Lucy H. Koh, the judge who worked on the Apple v. Samsung patent trial years ago, in which she famously became an Apple lawyer admonished by saying: "unless you smoke crack you know these witnesses are not called when you have less than four hours." So although the Magic Leap v. Nreal case may not rise to such colorful levels , it is certainly a high profile.
A first meeting between Magic Leap, Nreal and the court to discuss the general parameters of the case was due to take place in two weeks, on October 30, but that date has now changed in January 2020.
What that means is that while Magic Leap still has a strong opportunity to have its grievances broadcast in the legal arena, Nreal has just bought a few more quarters to defend its case at the world's most important court, the consumers.