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Sigh: Oculu File Trademark Dispute Against Oculus Rift

More trademark bullshittery is taking place, this time targeted at Oculus Rift. The 3D goggles are being taken to court by a company you’ve never heard of called Oculu, for “false designation of origin, trademark dilution and unfair competition”. So what 3D virtual reality hardware do Oculu make? Oh, wait, hang on – they appear to be a business-oriented video streaming service.

Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset, used to display games, and other media, in all-encompassing 3D. Oculu is a “Video platform for businesses and publishers”, offering a “supply side video/pre-roll monetization platform for publishers” as well as all manner of “solutions”.

Meanwhile, Ocular Instruments creates ophthalmic lenses, Ocular LCD supplies touch panels and display products, and OCUL is the Ontario Council of University Libraries. None of these companies have yet seen fit to take Oculus Rift to court.

Oculu, however, are not only claiming trademark violation, but appearing to go so far as to directly state that Oculus Rift deliberately copied their name. According to Ars Technica, the lawsuit filing states,

“Unfortunately, [Oculus co-founder Palmer] Luckey, decided that he would simply add an ‘s’ to Oculu’s registered trademark and call his product and online video distribution network, Oculus. It could have adopted any number of trademarks.”

It seems fairly important to note that Oculus Rift isn’t an online video distribution network. But way to slip that one in there! I think I might sue Walkers Crisps for their “crisp production and writing about PC games on the internet”.

You can just imagine the scenes at the as-yet unnamed Oculus Rift HQ, as Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov were batting about names.

“Um, Netflixs?”

“No, what about Twitchs?”

“That’s not quite right. Youtubes!”

“Guys, wait, I’ve got it. Oculus.”

*stunned silence*

Yesssssss. So there it is. Oculu, a registered trademark that covers only “Streaming of audio and video material by means of the Internet” is attempting to take on Oculus Rift. A company which recently received $75m in funding to help bring the product to stores.

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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