Facing claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information by Meta Company, DreamWorld, led by Meta's former employee, Zhangyi "Kevin" Zhong, has fired back with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
In case you missed our previous report, Meta's lawsuit centers on DreamGlass, an augmented reality headset with comparable field-of-view at a much lower suggested retail price than the Meta 2. Meta claims Zhong used confidential information obtained during his time at Meta to develop the competing headset in a relatively short period of time.
Filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California last week, the motion argues that Meta has failed to present sufficient facts to support their numerous claims against DreamWorld and Zhong. In particular, DreamWorld's attorneys posit that Meta's claim lacks "requisite specificity" with regards to which trade secrets have been misappropriated. Judge Edward Chen will hear arguments on the motion on Aug. 17.
DreamWorld's legal team has also filed an opposition to Meta's motion for expedited discovery, stating that Meta has not demonstrated urgency or good cause for the request and, with regards to evidence regarding Zhong's exit, should have the evidence it needs.
This week, Meta filed documents to support its response. Among the exhibits filed by Meta is a recent hands-on article by Next Reality on the Meta 2, offered to counter verbiage in DreamWorld's opposition document that paints Meta in a less-than-favorable light.
A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3 with regards to the expedited discovery request.
Zhong issued a statement to Next Reality regarding the continuing legal saga. In short, he reiterates responses in his legal team's filing, while outlining how DreamGlass differs from the Meta 2.
It is unfortunate that Meta has elected to bring a lawsuit against me and Dreamworld based on unfounded claims of trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, and other legal causes of action. The claims are in large measure based on innuendo, conjecture, and incorrect assumptions. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves and clear our names against these baseless claims, and have already asked the court to dismiss the complaint.
We are designing a unique augmented reality device that will utilize different technologies than those used by Meta and is directed to a different market than what Meta is targeting. As stated on Meta's website, Meta's device is meant for PC-based workplace applications and, although it is less expensive than the Hololens, it is still well out of reach of the ordinary consumer. We at Dreamworld have developed our product, called DreamGlass, based on a wholly different concept—to build a low-priced AR device that is accessible to average consumers for mobile and entertainment applications that can be used 'on the go' or 'in the home.' To accomplish this, we have assembled a group of vision, design, and programming experts who have been independently developing a brand new device from the ground-up. We are constantly researching, developing, and modifying DreamGlass, keeping our ultimate goals of affordability, mobility, and leading-edge technology in mind. We are very excited by what's to come, and hope to bring it to consumers in the near future with the right funding and community support.
Meta issued a statement upon filing their lawsuit against DreamWorld, noting that they would not provide further comment.
Meta Company hopes that all of its employees - past and present - achieve great career and personal success. Former Meta employees are ambassadors of our brand and culture, and Meta is proud to support them and their current endeavors. At the same time, Meta also takes the confidentiality of its trade secrets and proprietary technical, strategic and business information very seriously. By filing this lawsuit, Meta is seeking to protect years of confidential research and development into innovations that are incorporated into its current and future products from being wrongfully misappropriated by a former employee solely for personal gain.
Nonetheless, in light of DreamWorld's counter-motions, Next Reality has submitted a request for comment; the query was unrequited as of the time of publication.
Update: Meta did respond to the request for comment.
The filing of a motion to dismiss is a routine litigation activity, the merits of which will be addressed by Meta's forthcoming opposition to that filing. Apart from that note, Meta has no further comment on the pending lawsuit.