Augmented Reality Patents Are Skyrocketing

In October and December 2011, I wrote about the extensive number of AR-related patent applications already on file.  ”If you’re serious about succeeding with your AR business plan–and especially if you hope to attract investors,” I said, “it would be well worth your time to research the existing patent landscape in your field, and get your patent application on file as soon as reasonably possible.”


Excerpt from recent AR patent granted to Sony

That was especially true in light of the then-recently adopted America Invents Act, which awards priority to those who file their patent applications first, not necessarily to those who invent first. My conclusion: “You owe it to yourself  to at least consult a patent attorney. Soon.”

At that time, I noted that a search of the Google Patents database for the phrase “augmented reality” returned about 11,100 hits.  Today, in January 2014, as part of the process of writing my forthcoming book on AR law, I ran that same search again. The number of hits?  160,000.

The pace of innovation in this field is astounding. (I know this not only from these numbers; several of the new patents were obtained by colleagues in my firm.)  What’s also interesting is the diverse range of industries represented by these patents.  On just the first page of my Google results alone, I see inventions applying AR to personal mobile devices, head-mounted displays, communication, assistance for the blind, data center operations, and health care.

The age of AR is coming. And despite all this activity, it’s still not too late to get into the game and protect your invention. But if you have one, you really owe it to yourself to seek legal protection.  Immediately.

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  • Metatroy

    The book on AR law is long awaited. What search words do you use for AR related patents? Is not AR a part of virtual reality? The CAVE, simulation & training, immersive realties, telepresence? How are you covering these aspects in your book?

    A good description is in the introduction of this site:–virtual-reality-market-report-2013-2018-technology-sensors–components-applications–geography-218533031.html

    I believe a good platform is needed for AR, VR, S&T, etc. to evolve. I call this the HIVE– holographic immersive virtual environments / engine/ edutainment (content– gamification). My patented laser apparatus with laser and camera is the keystone/ lynch pin/ glue/ for HIVE platforms. HIVE platforms cannot be created without the ability to create images with IF IT IS. infinite focus, instant transformation, innate sharpness. is a roadmap for the HIVE and Z*Tron Vision–check out slide shares -Troyer patent portfolio and patent claim charts. Do you count these patents as platforms for AR? Does AR used this patented process to enhance virtual realities? I am asking these questions so that you can think about these issues for your book. Anxious to read it— let us know when it is coming out?

    • bdwassom

      Thanks so much for the interest and dialogue about the book. Feel free to send more feedback; I want it to be as useful to you as possible. Right now the most likely publication date is sometime in Q3 2014.

  • Chris Coleman

    Brian. Really enjoy your blog and look forward to the book. We just posted an infographic of the U.S. augmented reality patent landscape. Certainly not what I expected to see when it comes to issued AR patents. The raw data is available for the asking if you think it may be helpful for the book.

    Chris Coleman