US-based augmented reality company sues former employee for stealing trade secrets

A US-based augmented reality (AR) company Meta has filed a lawsuit against its former employee for allegedly stealing trade secrets regarding its technology and market strategy. According to a report in the Verge, the company sued its former head of optics Zhangyi Zhong and AR company DreamWorld US, as well as 20 unnamed defendants. The company alleged that Zhong "shamelessly leveraged" his time at Meta to misappropriate its "technologies, supply chain, manufacturing methods, and relationships, as well as business, investment and market strategies," using them to build a prototype at DreamWorld.  However, DreamWorld has refuted the allegation and termed the charges "completely baseless".

The company alleged that Zhong "shamelessly leveraged" his time at Meta to misappropriate its "technologies, supply chain, manufacturing methods, and relationships, as well as business, investment and market strategies," using them to build a prototype at DreamWorld.  However, DreamWorld has refuted the allegation and termed the charges "completely baseless". Zhong worked for Meta for 16 months before quiting in July 2016 and last month, DreamWorld announced its first product called the DreamGlass.

The product is supposed to cost under $350, compared to the $949 Meta 2 headset, which started shipping last year, the report noted.

"That was possible because Zhong was heavily involved in developing the Meta 2, and had access to Meta's extensive research about augmented reality, as well as information about its relationships to manufacturers," Meta said. The company said that Zhong quit without notice but secretly founded DreamWorld under a new nickname and began running it through his wife or girlfriend. "Thus, the company could create a product that took Meta years of trial and error to prototype in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the effort," the company noted.


Published Date: Jun 11, 2017 06:16 pm | Updated Date: Jun 11, 2017 06:16 pm