Virtual Reality (VR) IP Assets Commercialization Viability Analysis

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Virtual
Reality

(VR
)
IP Assets

Commercialization Viability Analysis




December

2012




Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






2

Objective

This report assesses the via
bility for commercialization of Intellectual
Property (IP) assets related to
Virtual
Reality (VR)

technology
, which involves computer
-
simulated worlds to stipulate the sense of
reality. It often inc
ludes
stereoscopic displays to mimic our natural
visual sensory

input
. Other

simulated
sensory fe
edbac
k
, such as haptic or audio feedback, also form
part of VR technology.
VR technology has
been around for many decades, but its potential was not realized until computer graphics
matured and

computing capacity became adequate and affordable.

Today
, VR is e
xtensively

used in gaming,
entertainment
, training and education.
VR also has many important medical applications
.

This

analysis encompasses t
he overall landscape of Virtual Reality IP assets in terms of the major patent
holders and
recorded transaction
s
.

Assignees
with VR patent assets with medical or gaming applications
are identified. A list of potential licensees or buyers of VR
-
related IP assets is arrived at.

Workflow


1.

Determine the major patent asset holders in the area of Virtual Reality

technologies
.

2.

Identify relevant transactions (assignment transfers) in the area of Virtual Reality

technologies.

3.

Obtain the forward citations of patents related to the relevant technology and determine the
patent asset holders of the more recently filed f
orward
-
cited patents.

4.

Determine the patent asset holders of VR IP assets with medical and gaming applications.

5.

Combine the findings from the above steps to create a short
-
list of potential licensees or buyers
in VR technologies.

Analysis



The analysis conta
ined in this report is done for VR technology in general.
There are many sub
-
technologies
involved in
this domain
, such as stereoscopic displays, haptic devices, tracking
systems, and computer algorithms.




Patent assets related to
V
irtual Reality are ide
ntified using a combination of keywords, IPC
codes, and US classification codes

to obtain t
he
top patent asset holders in the

technology

area
.



A search of the assignment database is performed using similar parameters. This yields a list of
th
e various buy
ers and sellers of

patent assets addressing this technology and helps in
determining the most active amongst them.


Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






3



A
ssignees for recently filed forward
-
cited patents in
VR technologies

are determined.



Assignees with VR patent assets with applications in ei
ther assisting medical or surgical
procedures; or addressing gaming are separately identified.



The analysis of this report is based on the patent assets of various geographies, assignment
transfer data provided by the USPTO, and related corporate informati
on available in the public
domain.

All patent counts mentioned are only indicative.

Patent
Filings

in Virtual Reality Technology

The charts below show the filing trends for patents in
Virtual Reality

technology. Figure 1 shows the top
patent ho
l
ders

in VR technology

and Figure 2 shows the overall filing trend
s

and the top patent asset
holders from 1993 onwards. The list of top patent asset holders changes somewhat if we look at recent
patent filings (from 2009 onwards). The
recent
filing trend
(sta
rting 2009 onwards)
is shown in Figure 3.

IBM, Canon, Sony
;

followed by Philips, Samsung and Microsoft are the key patent holders overall. Most
of these assignees reappear in the list of top recent filers as well

(2009
onwards
)
.
Other companies that
have

filed patents in this technology in recent times include

Osterhout Group, Nintendo, Disney, Intuitive
Surgical and Pantech.


Figure 1.
Top Patent Holders

of Virtual Reality IP assets with indicative patent counts



Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






4


Figure 2
. Assignee trends by
fi
ling
y
ear

(from 1993 onwards)


Figure 3
. Assignee trends by
fi
ling
y
ear (from 2009

onwards
)


Figure
4
. Filing
trends of the technology

IBM
CANON
SONY
PHILIPS
SAMSUNG
MICROSOFT CORP
OSTERHOUT GROUP INC
NINTENDO CO LTD
SHARP
PANASONIC
ALCATEL LUCENT
SIEMENS
IMMERSION CORP
DISNEY
KOREA ELECTRONICS TELECOMM
0
102
204
1
1
5
21
3
4
1
2
3
1
3
25
56
31
8
3
2
6
2
4
7
9
3
9
6
3
10
11
14
18
16
14
9
1
7
4
2
5
11
9
14
14
4
16
3
3
6
3
2
1
2
9
12
18
6
3
5
21
17
12
4
5
9
2
7
7
12
1
1
5
2
1
2
1
1
5
2
5
3
14
19
33
2
1
1
2
1
2
3
1
3
4
4
6
6
3
12
11
5
3
30
31
1
2
1
1
5
39
3
5
5
7
8
8
1
4
1
3
1
3
2
3
2
5
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
2
3
6
1
2
8
2
3
2
2
10
4
1
1
2
2
3
8
1
1
16
7
1
1
4
1
1
2
1
1
2
2
3
3
4
2
2
3
2
2
3
4
1
1
3
4
1
1
1
6
9
5
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
4
3
2
4
3
5
1
Assignee
No. of Patents
Filing Date
SAMSUNG
OSTERHOUT GROUP INC
NINTENDO CO LTD
SONY
IBM
MICROSOFT CORP
CANON
DISNEY
INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC
QUALCOMM INC
PANTECH CO LTD
KOREA ELECTRONICS TELECOMM
0
50
2009
2010
2011
2012
14
19
33
2
30
31
5
39
3
9
12
18
6
31
8
3
2
12
11
5
3
9
1
7
9
5
1
1
10
2
2
2
2
10
12
1
4
3
5
1
Assignee
No. of Patents
Filing Year
Priority year


Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






5

Transactions in Virtual Reality Technology

Patents

Table 1

is a compiles a

list of

the top companies that acquired patent assets (execution date from 1993
onwards) after analyzing the t
ransactions

(assignment transfers)

in the area of
Virtual Reality

technology
.

Assignee

count

GEOMAGIC, INC.

16

AVAYA INC
.

14

IMMERSION CORP

13

CANON

11

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

11

SUN MICROSYSTEMS

9

KAPERNELLY ASSETS AG, LLC

8

NASA

7

NIH

7

BONANZA TECHNOLOGIES LLC

6

NANT HOLDINGS IP, LLC

5

INTELLECTUAL VENTURES HOLDING LLC

4

LIGHTSPACE TECHNOLOGIES AB

4

CAE HEALTHCARE INC.

3

CARESTREAM
HEALTH INC
.

3

GC NORTH ACQUISITION, LLC

3

GOOGLE

3

INDIGO TECHNOLOGIES, LLC

3

KWOK, CHU & SHINDLER LLC

3

ROXIO

INC.

3

TEXTRON INNOVATIONS INC
.

3

TRANSPACIFIC IMAGE, LLC

3

Table 1.
Top New Assignees (Buyers)

of Virtual Reality patents showing
transaction count

The seller (Assignor) and buyer (Assignee) matrix shown in Figure 5 is created using assignment transfer
data for pa
tent assets addressing Virtual Reality technology.
Some of the sellers of patent assets include
Sensable

Technologies, Nortel,
V
irtual Technologies and Mixed Realty Systems Lab
. Buyers of these
patent assets include
Geomagic, Avaya, Immersion Corp

and Canon
.

Government
organizations

like
the
National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH) and NASA have
funded research at
various
U.S.
Universities in this technology area. This is indicated by patent assignment transfers from
the Universities to these organizations. The U
niversities may however still continue to enjoy
IP rights to
the research as under

the Bayh
-
Dole Act.


Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






6


Figure
5
.

Top Assignee and Assignor
matrix showing transaction counts

Figure 6 shows the trend plot for

the total number of transactions in the area of
Virtual Reality
technology by execution year
.
There has been a marked increase in the number of transactions
beginning in the 2005
-
2007 period. The upward trend in the number of transactions continues till 2012.


Figure 6
.
Transaction trend based on Exe
cution Year

Figure 7 shows the top buyers of patent assets in this technology area by the execution year of
assignment transfer.

GEOMAGIC, INC.
AVAYA INC
IMMERSION CORP
NSF
CANON KK
SUN MICROSYSTEMS INC
KAPERNELLY ASSETS AG
NIH
NASA
BONANZA TECHNOLOGIES LLC
NANT HOLDINGS IP, LLC
LIGHTSPACE TECHNOLOGIES AB
INTELLECTUAL VENTURES HOLDING LLC
OTHER ASSIGNEES
0
81
162
SENSABLE TECHNOLOGIES
NORTEL
VIRTUAL TECHNOLOGIES
MIXED REALITY SYSTEMS LAB
VPL NEWCO, INC.
GEOPHOENIX, INC.
SOUTHWEST RES INST
INTERSENSE INC
CALIFORNIA INST OF TECH
Intellectual Property Group, Inc.
EVRYX ACQUISITION, LLC
VIZTA 3D, INC
IBM
OTHER ASSIGNORS
16
13
1
12
1
2
9
11
9
8
7
3
4
6
4
1
4
4
1
6
1
5
4
ASSIGNEE (BUYERS)
NO. OF TRANSACTIONS
ASSIGNORS (SELLERS)
1
1
2
1
12
1
7
18
8
30
9
13
20
8
22
24
30
17
30
40
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
NO. OF TRANSACTIONS
EXECUTION YEAR

Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






7

Sun Microsystems emerges as

on
e of the early buyers of IP assets

in this technology,
acquiring patents
from VPL Newco Inc. in

1997. Other early buyers of patents include Immersion Corp which purchased
patents from Virtual Technologies in 2000 and 2002; and Canon which acquired patent assets from
Mixed Reality Systems in 2003.

Recent acquirers have included

Avaya Inc
.

in 2009, K
apernelly Systems in 2008,
and
NANT Holdings in
2011.

The most recent recorded t
r
ansactions in 2012 have been

Geomagic
acquiring assets from
Sensable Technologies and Bonanza T
echnologies
acquiring assets
from Sout
hwest Research Institute.


Figure
7
.

Transaction trends of T
op
A
ssignee
s

based on Execution Year

Citation Analysis

The overall p
atent assets

related to Virtual Reality

technology are initially obtained and their for
ward
citations are
identified.
The
filing
date of the documents in the forwa
rd citation set

is then restricted
to
Jan 2009 or later,
to obtain a list of assignees who have recently cited VR patent assets. This list is shown
in

Table 2.

Recent citations by these companies indicate that they are working on, and have re
cently filed
patents
addressing,
VR
technologies
and

could well be potential licensees or interested buyers
for
similar
patents.

Within the set of Virtual Reality patents, we have picked a couple of applications for closer study. These
are the applicati
on of VR in (i
)

Assisting
medical or
surgical procedures
, and (ii) Gaming
.
Some of these
recently filed
forward citations

have been manually scanned to verify that
the inventions disclosed
GEOMAGIC, INC.
AVAYA INC
IMMERSION CORP
NSF
CANON KK
SUN MICROSYSTEMS INC
KAPERNELLY ASSETS AG
NIH
NASA
BONANZA TECHNOLOGIES LLC
NANT HOLDINGS IP, LLC
LIGHTSPACE TECHNOLOGIES AB
INTELLECTUAL VENTURES HOLDING LLC
OTHER ASSIGNEES
0
11.5
23
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
16
1
13
3
10
1
1
1
1
1
3
2
1
11
9
8
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
6
5
4
2
2
1
1
2
2
1
5
12
6
8
5
13
20
6
20
10
13
16
23
15
ASSIGNEE(BUYER)
NO. OF
TRANSACTIONS
EXECUTION YEAR

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2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






8

address
one of these two applications.

Assignees holding VR patent assets that a
ddress either or both
the abovementioned technologies have been highlighted in Table 2.

ASSIGNEE

COUNT

SILVERBROOK RES PTY LTD

8

MICROSOFT

8

SAMSUNG

4

LG

4

PHILIPS

3

HONEYWELL INT

3

MWI VETERINARY SUPPLY CO

3

DIGITALOPTICS CORP

3

IBM

3

YOOSTAR
ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

2

PANASONIC

2

RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD

2

AT&T

2

INVENSENSE INC
.

2

VEDERI, LLC

2


Table 2. Assignees with recent filings citing patents related to
Virtual Reality

(filing date from Jan 2009)

[Highlighted assignees
hold
VR patents

with
Medical or Gaming applications
]

Virtual Reality

in Medical applications and Gaming

Table 3 provides
a list of
VR
patent

holders having

asset
s with applications
in

assisting medical or surgical
procedures
.

The top patent holders in this
sub
-
technology
include

Intuitive Surgical Inc
.
, Siemens,
Bracco Imaging
;

followed by Immersion Corp and
K
apernelly Assets AG.




Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






9

Patent Holder

Count

INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC
.

17

SIEMENS

12

BRACCO IMAGING SPA

11

IMMERSION CORP

10

KAPERNELLY ASSETS AG, LLC

8

VIRTUAL PROTEINS B V

4

CAE INC.

3

GENERAL ELECTRIC

3

IMPERIAL INNOVATIONS LIMITED

3

UNIV ALABAMA

3

UNIV MONASH

3

UNIV TEXAS TECH

3

US NASA

3

Table 3. List of
VR patent holders addressing
medical application
s

Table
4

provides
a list
of the
VR
patent holders having assets
with applications
in
gaming
.
The top patent
holders
of VR technology patents addressing this sub
-
techn
ology
include

Nintendo Co Ltd.
, Sony,
Microsoft followed by Konami Corp and Namco Ltd
.

Patent Holder

Count

NINTENDO CO LTD

20

SONY

17

MICROSOFT CORP

12

KONAMI CORP

8

NAMCO LTD

8

EDGE 3 TECHNOLOGIES INC
.

5

IBM

5

MOTION GAMES LLC

5

ATLANTIS CYBERSPACE INC
.

4

GAMECASTER INC
.

4

KICO SOUND LLC

4

NANT HOLDINGS IP, LLC

4

PHILIPS

4

SEARETE LLC

4

VIRTUAL PROTEINS B V

4

Table 4. List of
VR p
atent holders
addressing gaming applications


Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






10

Potential Licensees or
Buyers

We synthesize our findings from each of the preceding analyses to arrive at a list of potential licensees or
buyers for
Virtual Reality patent assets
. These po
tential licensees or buyers are enumerated in Table 5
along with the rationale for including them in the list.

Potential
Licensee or
Buyer

Rationale

Reference

IMMERSION
CORP

One of the top patent asset holders

Figure 1, Figure 2

Acquired patents in
VR
technology

Table 1, Figure 5, Figure 7

Holds VR patents with medical applications

Table 3

IBM

One of the top patent asset holders with recent filings

Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3

Citation analysis indicates current deve
lopment of similar
technologies

Table 2

Holds
VR
patents with gaming applications

Table 4

MICROSOFT

One of the top patent asset holders with recent filings

Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3

Citation analysis indicates current development of simil
ar
technologies

Table 2

Holds VR patents

with gaming applications

Table 4

PHILIPS

One of the top patent asset holders

Figure 1, Figure 2

Citation analysis indicates current development of similar
technologies

Table 2

Holds VR patents with gaming applications

Table 4

SIEMENS

One of the top
patent asset holders with recent filings

Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3

Holds VR patents with medical applications

Table 3

INTUITIVE
SURGICAL INC
.

One of the top patent asset holders with recent filings

Figure 3

Holds VR patents with medical
applications

Table 3

KAPERNELLY
ASSETS AG,
LLC

Acqui
red patents in VR t
echnology

Table 1, Figure 5, Figure 7

Holds VR patents with medical applications

Table 3

CAE INC.

Acquired patents in VR technology

Table 1, Figure 5, Figure 7

Holds VR patents
with medical applications

Table 3

NINTENDO CO
LTD

One of the top patent asset holders with recent filings

Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3

Holds VR patents with gaming applications

Table 4

Table 5. List of Potential Licensees or Buyers for
VR patent assets


Copyright ©
2012, INDUS

TechInnovations
, All rights reserved.

Virtual
Reality (VR)
IP Assets
-

Commercialization Viability Analysis






11

About
Rele
cura


Rele
cura

is the flagship product of
INDUS Tech
Innovations
. It is a web
-
based patent and portfolio
analysis platform that uses a knowledge discovery framework to

simplify IP analysis for prior
art searches
and IP co
mmercialization
activities. For more

details
visit

www.relecura.com

or write to us at
info@relecura.com
.

Disclaimer

This document is provided for information purposes only and the contents he
reof are subject to change
without notice.
This document
, including the information and analysis and any

opinion or
recommendation, is neither legal advice nor

intended for investment purposes. This document is not
warranted to be error
-
free, nor subject t
o any other warranties or conditions, whether expr
essed orally
or implied in law, including implied
warranties and conditions of merchantability or fitn
ess for a
particular purpose.
INDUS

Tech
Innovations

specifically disclaim
s

any liability with respect to this
document and no contractual obligations are formed either directly or indirectly by this document.