RESTON, Va. — Video analytics provider ObjectVideo (OV), has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Sony, Samsung and Bosch, alleging that the companies infringed upon OV’s patented technologies. OV filed a similar complaint against the same companies with Virginia’s Eastern District Court in April.
The complaint seeks to ban Bosch, Samsung and Sony from importing or selling products that have software features and functions that allegedly infringe on OV’s patents.
Designed for bringing cases by U.S. firms against international importers, the ITC was the best venue for OV to file its suit, says company Chairman and CEO Raul Fernandez. As it stands, ITC’s patent investigations fall under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which bars “unlawful practices in import trade.”
“The ITC was created to do exactly what we’re doing, which is to bring forth what we think are legitimate issues and have them looked at in an expedited form,” Fernandez tells SSI. “While it doesn’t give you damages or a royalty judgment, it usually brings parties to the table. That’s what we want.”
Ken Kirschenbaum, who writes SSI‘s “Legal Briefing” column, says filing with the ITC instead of prosecuting Bosch, Samsung and Sony will save OV money on litigation down the line.
“This process is faster and cheaper than a patent infringement case, which would take years and perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute,” he tells SSI. “Technological advancement does not come cheap. Those who invest their time and money in new patentable products are wise and within their rights to protect the patent from infringement.”
The goal of the complaint isn’t to put the three international companies out of business, but to gain the proper compensation.
“We don’t want to shut down business lines,” Fernandez says. “We just want to be appropriately paid for our innovation and the amount of time and energy that went into developing these patents. We want these parties to come to the table and have an economic dialogue that is similar to one we’ve had with other parties.”
Since filing the complaint with the Eastern District Court, Fernandez says OV has made royalty agreements with video solutions provider Mirasys and another private company. He adds that OV is also negotiating royalty arrangements with other companies.
“I often get the question of ‘why now?’ My gut reaction is why not now?” Fernandez says. “There is no right or wrong time to do this. Obviously, we felt our patents were being infringed, so that’s clearly the right time to figure out how to address the issue. As analog cameras switch over to IP, those cameras tend to be more and more intelligent. In terms of future growth, it’s a great time to begin to assert innovation that we invested in.”
To date, OV holds 41 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and international patents. An additional 43 USPTO and international patents are pending, all in the field of computer vision, Troha says.
Bosch declined to comment on the complaint. Sony and Samsung did not return messages for comments before press time.