Avigilon announced this week that it has acquired the entire patent portfolio and patent licensing program of ObjectVideo for $80.3 million.
Photo credit: (Image courtesy ObjectVideo)
ObjectVideo, a Virginia-based provider of video analytic software, announced on Thursday that it has filed a complaint against camera maker Pelco with the United States International Trade Commission for alleged patent infringement. The complaint follows a lawsuit filed by the company against Pelco in May in the U.S. District Court of Virginia seeking damages and an injunction.
Specifically, the company is requesting an investigation by the ITC into two of the company’s network camera models, the Sarix IDE10DN-0 and the Sarix IEEE10DN-0, and is also seeking a cease and desist order to prevent Pelco from selling or importing the "infringing products."
According to the formal complaint, the patents allegedly infringed upon by Pelco pertain to "Video Tripwire" and "Video Surveillance Systems Employing Video Primitives," which Raul Fernandez, CEO and chairman of ObjectVideo, said is commonly referred to as metadata.
"Video is unstructured data and what our software and algorithms do is they bring structure to it," he explained. "We turn video into data and then stream that data. That streamed data is called metadata - classifications, human not human, vehicle, trajectory, etc."
A spokeswoman for Pelco said that the company did not have a comment regarding the complaint "at this time."
Last year, ObjectVideo filed lawsuits against Bosch, Sony and Samsung alleging that these manufacturers infringed upon their intellectual property. In February, ObjectVideo reached a patent licensing agreement with Sony and requested that the ITC end its investigation into the matter. The company has also recently reached licensing agreements with American Dynamics, a business unit of Tyco Security Products, as well as VIVOTEK.
"First and foremost, we would rather be in a global, portfolio-wide licensing agreement with all of these companies instead of any sort of litigation," Fernandez said. "Other global companies have entered into agreements with us… and we are currently working on a half dozen others. We’ve been very encouraged by the continued engagement from companies around the world that have looked at our intellectual property, that have looked at our licensing programs and that have begun to have licensing discussions with us."
However, ObjectVideo is still involved in ongoing ITC investigations of hardware and software products from Bosch and Samsung. A trial regarding the alleged patent infringement by these two companies is scheduled to be held next month at the ITC.
While some may see ObjectVideo’s legal actions against Pelco and other camera manufacturers as "patent trolling," Fernandez said that his company is simply defending its innovations.
"We have a very healthy business in our software side of the business and we go to market through software partners like Cisco and others. We have invested a lot of time and money in developing this technology and innovating it and we are defending those inventions and innovations so if someone is accusing us of actively defending what we invented, we are guilty as charged and will continue to do it," he said.
Fernandez said that the company’s licensing partners also expect them to aggressively defend the intellectual property that they have agreed to pay for.
"As more companies sign up with us on the IP licensing side, they expect us to enforce our IP because they don’t want to be put at a disadvantage," he said. "If they’re paying 'x' number of dollars per unit for an IP license from us, they want to make sure that we’re enforcing that across the board. Not only is it in our interest to obviously defend what we’ve invented, but we’re also getting – as we get more licensees onboard – they clearly want us to enforce because if we don’t, they’re at a disadvantage right? They’re paying 'x' and the others aren’t."