On January 30, 2018, Barbaro Technologies, LLC (“Barbaro”) sued Niantic, Inc. (“Niantic”) for the alleged infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,373,377 and 8,228,325. Barbaro’s asserted patents are generally directed to integrating real-world information (e.g., a real-world geographic location) with an augmented reality environment. Barbaro specifically asserts that both Niantic’s Pokémon GO and Ingress infringe the asserted patents.
Claim 1 of the ’377 Patent reads:
1. A method of integrating real-time information into a virtual thematic environment using a computer system including a client and a server, comprising:
providing a graphics user interface (GUI) module for use in the client system;
providing a quantum imaging environment (QIE) module in one of the client or the server system;
providing a digital logic library in one of the client or the server system;
providing a primary application in the client system;
providing a first user interface that is associated with the primary application;
sending a request for first real-time information via the QIE module to the world wide web;
obtaining the first real-time information via the world wide web;
downloading the first real-time information from the world wide web into the primary application;
providing access to the first real-time information within the virtual thematic environment via the first user interface;
providing at least one secondary application within the primary application at the client system;
sending a request for second real-time information via the QIE module;
obtaining the second real-time information via the world wide web;
downloading the second real-time information into the secondary application;
enabling a user to access the at least one secondary application through the first user interface; and
enabling the user to control the at least one secondary application through a second user interface.
Niantic, which was spun off from Google, Inc. (“Google”), may have been aware of the Barbaro patents as early as 2006. Per Barbaro, around October 26, 2006, Barbaro sent Google’s Deputy General Counsel a copy of patent
publications that led to the issuance of Barbaro’s asserted patents. Google, Inc. allegedly acknowledged the letter but “refused to discuss the matter before the patent issued.” No further detail regarding exchanges between
Barbaro and Google are provided in the complaint.
This is case 2:18-CV-00773 in the District Court for Central District of California. We will track it and keep you apprised of significant updates.