Eric Greenbaum, neuroscientist and patent lawyer, joins me in this episode of the Rev VR Podcast. We discuss the first NYC VR Meetup, and then delve into the dark world of patent law with regards to the recent virtual reality boom.
Eric shares with us the success of the first NYC VR Meetup. It was held at SoTechie Spaces in New York City, and was a great success. VR Developer, James Andrew, attended and showed off the latest version of his game, RiftCopter, which impressed the crowd. The turnout was a bit small (10 people), but he anticipates word of mouth to spread and make the next one a much larger group
Eric also suggests that we develop some best practices for conducting a VR meetup. A document like that would nurture the growth of this type of thing. A listing of these events might also make it easier for folks to find events in their area.
I had to ask how a neuroscientist makes his way into the patent law world. Eric worked in the biotech industry, and loved the idea of being a scientist, but found it frustrating. Doing science R&D naturally exposed him to the area of patent law, and he made the switch.
Patents are a hot point of discussion in the VR world right now and Eric, being an enthusiast, did tons of research on this area and posted it on his blog, Greenbaum Patent Blog. Hundreds, if not thousands of patents, are considered relevant to this area. We discuss the history behind patents, get a quick primer as to how they work, and discuss the numerous big name companies that own them. We discover that there is already one VR patent lawsuit in the works.
A big piece of our discussion is the possibility that “patent wars” might stifle the birth of VR. I present many different scenarios to Eric and he explains the possible outcomes. Will Oculus have their ducks in a row, or will another company swoop in and crush their dreams? Will the technology blogs be overrun with posts about patents in the future, or will everyone play nice in hopes that VR will benefit us all?
Only time will tell.
Thanks to Eric for taking the time to share his expertise with us.
Subscribe to Get Episodes as They Air
Direct download of episode 45: MP3 Download