After the battle between the two tech giants Apple and Samsung last year regarding the patent rights, the tech world is again going to see a patent fight soon. Masayoshi Son, the billionaire and CEO of the SoftBank has claimed that the idea of Google Glass has already been patented by SoftBank Mobile Corp. in the year 2010.
Masayoshi, one of the richest men of Japan, on his two hour long speech to the shareholders, presented a prediction of the technological developments in the coming 30 years. And in his speech he described some ideas somewhat similar to the concept of the Google Glass. He described the concept of improved reality glasses in his speech; that is capable to understand speech of human and provide subtitles in the form of a visual intersection, and he also specifically mentioned that they have already patented the concept of translation glasses with caption.
After traversing the patent filings it was found that the company has indeed patented a similar translation function in 2010, but that cannot be marked as an identical copy of the concept of the Google Glass as shown in the latest promo of Project Glass. No doubt there are some similarities in the concepts between the two and one can easily find the concept sharing, but one cannot certainly point it as a true copy.
Actually, the patent system is quite complex and puzzling and it is exceedingly difficult to say exactly where two ideas will merge and where not. Two unique ideas might have some similar parts and yet contribute to their uniqueness, which depends substantially in the way they are embodied. It is to be mentioned that Masayoshi first became rich by selling the patent rights for a translation device for an eye-popping $1 million, and now when he has all the reasons behind filing a lawsuit against Google, there is no reason to think that it will be solved amicably.
In this context, Google has announced their virtual specs that enable one to translate his own speech, as a part of their upcoming wearable computer in which it has integrated all its applications and functions.