Chinese technology company fires again at Epic Games in ‘Nreal’ trademark dispute

  • Nreal says it does not infringe on Epic’s ‘Unreal’ trademarks
  • The company alleges that Epic filed a “hometown” lawsuit for “unfair advantage.”
  • The complaint does not argue any confusion because brands and products differ

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(Reuters) – Nreal Technology has sued “Fortnite” maker Epic Games in San Francisco federal court for clearing claims that its augmented reality glasses will confuse consumers with “Unreal” brands of Epic.

Monday’s complaint is in response to a lawsuit filed by Epic in May to charge Nreal with trademark infringement in North Carolina. The Chinese technology company asked the California court to declare that there was no likelihood of confusion and argued that Cary-based Epic filed the lawsuit in its home state to obtain an “unfair advantage.”

Nreal said in the lawsuit that Epic sued Nreal in North Carolina (where it says it has no commercial presence) after more than a year of discussions about the solution “without any notice or notice.”

Nreal and his lawyers Diana Rutowski and Maria Sokova of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Epic could not be reached for comment, and his attorneys in the North Carolina case, Dale Cendali of Kirkland & Ellis and Robert Van Arnam of Williams Mullen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nreal has not released its “light” Nreal mixed reality glasses, which allow users to interact with real and virtual objects at the same time in the United States, but sells them in Korea, Japan, Spain and Germany. His complaint said he chose the name to evoke “an” umpteenth “reality:” umpteenth “as a reference to the” last “or” maximum “reality that a user can experience.

Nreal applied for registration of a trademark “Nreal” in 2018. epic opposes the application this year, the argument of the trademark was likely to cause confusion with trademarks related to its Unreal games and Unreal Engine development software.

Epic argued in his May complaint that Nreal’s launch of Nreal Light in the U.S. was “imminent,” and that it is no coincidence that Nreal named his glasses after the industry-leading engine for the creation dimensional immersive and interactive content. ” He said “Nreal” has a virtually identical look and sound to “Unreal,” that companies ’products overlap, and that Nreal also plans to develop gaming software.

Nreal has not yet responded in the North Carolina case, but told the California court it does not infringe because the marks are different – one a “common word” and the other “coined by Nreal” – and used in different fields to sell different products. He applied to the court for a ruling that Nreal’s name would probably not cause confusion and that his use and registration of Nreal’s trademark does not infringe Epic’s rights.

“While it can be argued that both parties offer their products and services in relation to hardware and computer products at the most general level, there is no similarity between their fields of use,” Nreal said.

The case is Nreal Technology Ltd v. Epic Games Inc., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, no. 3: 21-cv-05537.

For Nreal: Diana Rutowski and Maria Sokova by Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

For Epic: California attorney information is not immediately available

Blake Brittain

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Get it to blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

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