ObjectVideo Files Patent Suit Against Bosch, Samsung and Sony

Three major players in the security industry have been accused of patent infringement in a complaint by video analytics company ObjectVideo last week.

The complaint, filed with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), seeks an exclusion order and a cease and desist order barring the importation, sale for importation or sale after importation of products from Bosch, Samsung and Sony that ObjectVideo claims contain software features and functions which infringe certain patents.

Raul Fernandez, ObjectVideo’s chairman and CEO, said the fact that Bosch, Samsung and Sony are foreign companies, have a critical mass of intelligent products and an overlay of patents that are being violated are some reasons why the companies are named in the filing.

“These are three really large companies importing products into the United States,” he said. “They are all significant players in the IP camera market using intelligent video analytics.”

Represenatives from Bosch, Samsung and Sony all declined to comment.

The complaint with the ITC comes on the heels of ObjectVideo’s lawsuit against the three companies filed in United States District Court in April. The ITC filing is a bigger expense for both the plaintiff and defendant, but Fernandez said it offered the greater opportunity for the desired outcome in less than two years.

“We felt it’s the best value to get to where we want, which is validation that our innovations are properly patented and are being violated,” he said.

Ed Troha, managing director of global marketing, described ObjectVideo as a small company that spends a lot of money on research and development. Founded in 1998, the company has applied for and been granted 41 USPTO and international patents with another 43 patents pending.

“Licensing our patents to other companies is another revenue stream,” he said. “We want to be fairly paid for the innovations we’ve invested all these dollars in over the years.”

Fernandez said the company first became aware of potential infringements to some of its patents when a company reached out to them in 2008 for a royalty agreement.

That’s when it was decided “we have something of value here beyond our software,” Fernandez said. Steps were then taken to determine how to best identify what companies might be violating ObjectVideo’s patents and how to enforce it.

“Of all the companies that should be having royalty discussions with us, these three companies have attributes that were very favorable to us to get this thing on a level playing field,” Fernandez said.

Though the lawsuit could potentially block importation of products named in the complaint from Bosch, Samsung and Sony, Fernandez said the intention is not to shut down any company’s business line.

“The key is to get due consideration for innovations as others have given us,” he said.

And since the initial District Court filing in April, the company has received numerous unsolicited calls for licensing information, which Fernandez called “surprising.” They’ve since signed an agreement with Mirasys and are currently in the negotiating phase with several other companies.

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