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A rise in trademark litigation? It's not a virtual reality.

Augmented and virtual reality are buzzwords in the industries of technology and innovation today. Led by products like the Sony PlayStation® VR and the Samsung Gear VR Headset, virtual reality could soon make its way beyond gaming and entertainment and into simulated training for high-stress, high-precision jobs in health care and the military. However, with the excitement of new technology comes issues related to intellectual property ownership.

It's no secret that technology is moving at a faster pace today than ever before, and with the rise of speed and technology comes an increase in the legal action surrounding it too. According to the World Trademark Review, technology experts are expecting a 38 percent rise in trademark litigation related to augmented and virtual reality.

Expectations often mean fears

Experts understand that to have success in technology is to develop and sell a product better and faster than the competition. Indeed, speed is the name of the game, but talk of litigation can be a harbinger of seemingly unnecessary delays for those just trying to keep up.

Today, there are more than 40 million VR users globally, according to Forbes, bringing a $2 billion market to the world economy. The number of users and the value of its market is expected to grow in coming years, so it's no surprise then that the litigation associated with it will rise as well. Here's why that matters to those in the business.

For companies trying to capture their share of the market, a recognized and protected trademark can be a leg up on the competition. A distinctive logo or brand name provides the consumer with inherent knowledge of quality and reputation, which can be invaluable in any market. This notion is especially true in the reality of VR companies, where profit margins are thin due to startup costs and a wide range of freemium services.

Action is necessary before litigation

While litigation can seem like an unwelcome chore to tech companies, the good news is that it can be a method of last resort when other proactive measures are taken to protect a brand. According to the WTP report, companies can protect their intellectual property rights by installing their products with anti-counterfeiting measures and maintaining a robust online presence to avoid brand genericide.

However, when litigation is necessary, companies can use the process to solidify their name at the top of a competitive and still-emerging market.

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