Can Avigilon Use Their Video Analytics Patents To Get Money From Google, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan...?

I watched a very interesting segment on CBS 60 Minutes last night that discussed the current research around self-driving cars. I was blown away by how far the technology seems to have evolved. A 60 Minutes correspondent was driven around Silicon Valley city steets and highways for 20 miles by a self-driving Mercedes S500 with only sporadic manual intervention from the Mercedes researcher. There is immense computing power required to enable this self-driving techology and one of the key enablers appears to be computer vision (aka video analytics). In particular, the Mercedes vehicle relies upon a large number of cameras in order to "see" its environment - with those video streams appearing to be processed by powerful video analytics algorithms that create data that the vehicle can then respond to.

Hands off the Wheel (particularly 6:33-7:18)

I would argue that the application of video analytics for self-driving is not too dissimilar from the security industry. In both cases, the goal of video analytics is to detect and classify relevant objects (people, vehicles, wildlife, etc.) in order to generate "actionable intelligence". So my question is this: given Avigilon's broad patent portfolio of video analytics, would they be tempted to approach Mercedes-Benz, Google, Nissan, etc. regarding patent licensing? Or would that open up a can of worms they don't want to deal with? I would imagine Mercedes has more lawyers than Avigilon has employees...

I am not comfortable with this discussion as it encourages vague speculation.

The only clear fact here is that Avigilon has not made any public claims about targeting anyone outside of the video surveillance industry. That does not mean they won't, that does not mean the patents are not applicable, etc.

If anyone is a patent attorney or has specific factual details to share relevant to this, please do so. Otherwise refrain.

Sorry, I was intending to make an observation that I thought might be relevant to the security industry. However, I do understand your point about vague speculation. I have some exposure to video analytics with my former companies and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. There is definitely a war chest of patents that will likely be applied to self-driving technology in the coming years.

Patent war chest among tech giants