The saga surrounding the now-defunct augmented reality (AR) headset maker Meta isn’t quite over just yet: At least some of the company’s assets have been acquired by a former investor in the company, who is keeping mum on future plans.
All of Meta’s trademarks were recently reassigned to a new company called Meta View Inc., which was incorporated at the end of last year. Records filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicate that the patents were reassigned because Meta defaulted on its debt, leading to a foreclosure.
The transfer documents were signed by Mayer Gniwisch on behalf of Meta View. Gniwisch is a general partner with Israel-based Olive Tree Ventures, an early stage venture capital company that lists Meta as one of its investments on its website. Gniwisch confirmed the asset acquisition when contacted by Variety, but declined to comment on details of the deal, and future plans for Meta.
Meta had been shipping an AR headset similar to Microsoft’s Hololens, and the company had ambitious plans to use augmented reality to replace desktop computers. However, Meta wasn’t able to raise nearly as much funding as competitors like Magic Leap, and ultimately ran out of money last September. By October, it had laid off most of its employees.
Eleventh-hour attempts by the company’s founder and CEO Meron Gribetz to raise new funding fell flat, and the bank securing Meta’s debt ultimately pulled the loan and sold the company’s assets to a new owner.
Speaking to Variety in January, Gribetz seemed optimistic about the future of Meta’s technology. “The Meta assets have a future,” he said. “That future was not so clear a few months ago.” However, Gribetz declined to share details about the new owner at the time; he was unavailable for comment this week.
All the while, Meta has been subject to a patent infringement lawsuit brought against the company by Genedics. That lawsuit stalled late last year when Meta’s attorney’s said they weren’t representing the company anymore.
Ordered to obtain new counsel, Meta’s chief financial officer John Sines told the court last month that the company had been foreclosed on. Last week, the judge in the case ordered a default judgement against Meta due to a failure to obtain counsel.