3rd Eye Surveillance Sues U.S. Gov’t for $1B for Patent Infringement

The litigation covers surveillance used to monitor secure areas for real-time threat assessments, including the protection of government assets and officials.

PLANO, Texas – Installing security contractor 3rd Eye Surveillance, based here, announced it has filed an infringement lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims seeking damages exceeding $1 billion for unlawful use of the company’s three video and image surveillance patents. The owner of the patents, Discovery Patents of Baltimore, is also a plaintiff.

James Otis Faulkner, the founder of Discovery Patents, invented the surveillance system patents in 2002 to improve residential and commercial security alarm systems.

“I originally invented and patented the real-time surveillance systems following September 11 to help connect multiple databases and allow law enforcement to assess potentially life-threatening situations in real time before acting,” said Faulkner, inventor and patent holder, said in a press release. “The intent of these patents was to save money and lives.”

Faulkner said his invention includes the process of sending real-time surveillance video and images to emergency personnel through a communications link. Two subsequent patents were issued to encompass voice and facial recognition software. This trio of patents, which Faulkner said have been successfully defended against more than 10 municipalities and private businesses, allow the government to provide real-time surveillance video, audio recognition, facial recognition and infrared images to emergency responders and defense agencies.

“We are thrilled our system has been widely adopted and so helpful for the government, but exploiting these patents without a license cripples our ability to survive as a small business,” said Offie Wiseman, co-owner of 3rd Eye Surveillance, which is the exclusive licensee of Faulkner’s three patents.

The lawsuit identifies the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other government entities among the patent infringers. The litigation covers surveillance used to monitor secure areas for real-time threat assessments, including the protection of government assets and officials, public locations and monitoring space from ground level.

“The federal government has knowingly infringed 3rd Eye’s patent rights and has impeded the company’s ability to do business,” said Stephen A. Kennedy, lead counsel and a shareholder at Kennedy Law, P.C. “This lawsuit seeks a license for past, present and future use of the technology by the federal government. The license is worth much more than $1 billion, and the judgement will depend on the scope of the use of this surveillance technology throughout the country.”

The patents spawned from an application filed by Faulkner on July 8, 2002. The voice and facial recognition patents were issued Sept. 28, 2004, and Jan. 29, 2008, respectively. In 2012, Faulkner negotiated exclusive licensing rights of the three patents to 3rd Eye Surveillance.

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