ObjectVideo sues Bosch, Sony, and Samsung on patent issues

Recent cash infusion helps company sue, claiming its analytics patents were infringed


"Increasingly large patent settlements in recent years have given patent owners increased incentive to pursue the enforcement of their patents," Pritchard said. "In fact, over the past two decades, patent litigation has more than doubled. Federal courts now report more than 2,500 new patent suits are filed each year. Companies will continue to use patents as a competitive advantage."

Fernandez noted that while a portion of the recent $28 million funding is being used to sue to defend the company's intellectual property, a substantial portion is also being used to further sales and R&D efforts for ObjectVideo.

He said that he brought back in former CTO Dr. Allen Lipton. Lipton, an early employee and key developer in the company's analytics, will again serve as chief technology officer focused on intellectual property. Fernandez added that he also made key sales appointments and additions in terms of "company brainpower." "We are adding a lot of key talent," Fernandez said. "We are in the business of continuing to innovate; we want analytics to be everywhere."

Fernandez said he did not expect the lawsuit to limit advancements in video content analytics or to stymie the adoption of this technology.

"If you look at other industries, and companies that invest in research, there's no chilling effect [when intellectual property lawsuits occur]. Industries thrive on innovation. Fast moving industries thrive on smaller companies inventing things."

Instead of chilling the industry, Fernandez said he had already been approached by other companies in the security industry who were interested in a business relationship with ObjectVideo in terms of licensing the company's analytics technology. Fernandez would not, however, rule out additional lawsuits: "We will continue to look at anyone that may be infringing on the technology."

Asked whether he believed software should be patentable, Fernandez said it should.

"Philosophically, I believe it should. It goes back to who has the idea and who spends the money developing the idea and brining it to market. If you don't have rules governing the development of intellectual property, then it actually stifles innovation."

Asked about whether this legislation could draw out in court and what effect a long lawsuit might have on the company, Fernandez said only that long lawsuits are always a possibility and that "time can work against the smaller company."

Pritchard said that the lawsuit had all the right elements for potentially becoming a long, expensive drawn-out suit.

"This suit, involving three sophisticated multi-national industry behemoths as defendants, could prove to be protracted and extraordinarily expensive, and it's a suit industry players may want to watch closely," he said. "Among other things, it will be interesting to see what impact, if any, a successful lawsuit may have on integrators and end-users using the defendants' goods and services."

*Update: Major companies known to have licensed ObjectVideo's technology include Pelco, Cisco, Axis and Verint.