okémon GO creators Niantic, are being sued by NantWorks, who are claiming that the gaming studio has infringed upon a number of its augmented reality patents. The lawsuit has come as a blow after what has been a record breaking year for the game creators as despite the COVID-10 pandemic limiting players from going outside, Niantic made a number of significant changes to Pokémon GO to ensure that players could still access all of its features.
Nianitic has faced previous lawsuits because of Pokémon GO, when the game launched several cases were brought to court against Niantic with some claiming that the game was encouraging players to trespass on their land and many angry homeowners wanted Pokéstops or Gyms removed from nearby locations to stop players from flocking to the area to catch rare Pokémon.
But the latest lawsuit does not involve any disgruntled homeowners, the Pokémon GO creators are facing legal action from a technology company over its use of augmented reality in the mobile game. NantWorks LLC is accusing Niantic of infringing on a number of patents relating to augmented reality technology in both Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
The lawsuit has been filed in a federal court in the state of California, NantWorks claims that the Niantic games use tech from three patents that cover the use of "groundbreaking" AR systems for video games. NantWorks is one of several companies affiliated with billionaire transplant surgeon Patrick Soon-Shiong, which has hundreds of patents spanning the fields of technology and medicine.
Despite the effects of COVID-19, 2020 has been a good year for Niantic and Pokémon GO. However, the impending legal action over the alleged infringement upon patents owned by NantWorks will likely raise some concerns for the Company.