Kano Accuses Warner Bros of Infringing Harry Potter Wand IP
Warner Bros. has been reportedly accused of replicating one of Kano’s products and violating its IP, according to Kano, a venture-backed London-based startup known for its make-your-own computer kits and software for teaching coding and related STEM skills.
This week, Warner Bros. received a “cease and desist” letter from London-based Kano, which TechCrunch has seen, asking it to stop its marketing and promotional efforts.
The item in question is the USD 150 Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand, whose announcement the media and entertainment giant made in October last year. It then began shipping it to customers in the US and the UK right before Christmas.
A wand that is controlled via physical gestures with the help of Bluetooth was included with Kano’s Harry Potter Coding kit and was made specifically to engage kids in coding spells by causing on-screen cauldrons to change color or feathers to flutter when sophisticated wand movements are made.
Kano released a device like Warner Bros.’ new wand back in 2018. However, the business is arguably better recognized for its Raspberry Pi and Windows-based modular PCs.
According to Kano, it has sold about 180,000 of its Harry Potter coding wands in the intervening years. However, when you take into account similar products that are controlled via gesture Kano later released in collaboration with Disney, the number jumps to 460,000.
Several sensors, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer, which are powering the wand assist in communicating the wand’s direction and motion to the tablet or PC to which it is connected.
The gesture detection system for the wand received a patent in April from Alex Klein, co-founder and CEO of Kano. The patent covers the following fundamental principles:
In order to start gesture recognition, the user must hold down a button. The screen then shows a cursor trail as the user moves the wand to demonstrate how a spell is being cast in real-time.
The Harry Potter wand is still available via some of Kano’s retail partners, including Apple and Target, even though the company is no longer actively selling it.