Subscriber Discussion

Is Avigilon HDSM Actually Patented? Do They Have Any?

Is avoiding any public announcement specifically stating that Misleading

Technically known as the non 'non-denial' denial the ethics and efficacy of this have been debated here.

On the other hand we do have this public statement (from Avigilon):

Harnessing the strength of Avigilon Control Center and the second generation of our patented High Definition Stream Management technology (HDSM 2.0)

[IPVM Editor's Note: Avigilon removed this claim the day after this discussion was posted.]

Care to dig up the actual patent? Couldn't find it under Avigilon or Alex R. (nor K. for that matter), maybe its under soneone else?

Unnamed analysts tried in vain to find them:

Many analysts refer to the industry as “slow-moving,” with no clear competitor emerging with an “end-to-end” product in the near term. Yet they also note Avigilon has no North American patents on its technology.

Perhaps this is the reason for their reticence?

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: Is It Misleading For Milestone To Call Their VMS 'Xprotect'?


Despite Avigilon's repeated proclamations of HDSM being patented, we have not found any granted patents. We did locate one 2008 patent application that describes a system for managing video streams. However, the approach in that application does not fit / match the implementation in Avigilon's VMS / cameras.

An avigilon dealer emphasizes that Avigilon does have a trademark on the term HDSM and that this protects them....

Avigilon received a patent for HDSM. It was first filed in 2008. Here's a copy of the patent.

It's so specific that I don't believe any competitors would be violating it.

On the plus side, for marketing purposes, now they have their patent.


This may help explain the secret sauce in HDSM:

No, none of them ever followed up. It's silly too because even Avigilon when called on it, did not press the point, rather emphasizing that the commercial had since been removed / retired / ended.

I see from that linked discussion thread that you made the following offer to the defenders of the Avigilon marketing video:

I will pay you $10,000 USD if you can deliver a 98% accuracy rate over a 24 hour period for the conditions shown in the Avigilon LPR video (30+ mph, 50+ wide FoV and car turning at 90 degree angle ALL AT THE SAME TIME).

There were 3 members, Alex,

I have issued you a 100% refunded and closed your account.

We continue to say positive things about Avigilon's products in our test and survey results (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), so it's absurd to claim us having a 'vendetta'. If you cannot fathom why your business partner continuously engages in misleading marketing, that's your issue. If you don't want us to call it out, again that's your issue.

After reading the catalogue link, comments made nearly year ago seem to point to some sort of vendetta against a player in and industry where all players are poised to do well. I joined this forum (paid) in hopes of finding relevent and useful information.

Unsubscribed, and it's ok to pro-rate my membership and close the account.

People find this interesting because:

1) Yet again, Avigilon has misrepresented itself (see the catalogue).

2) Avigilon says this is their 'secret sauce', which increases the interest in it (even though it's no secret and it's not unique in the least)

A patent is the execution of an idea - not the idea itself. Henry Ford made that clear when he beat the Seldon patent issued in the late 1800 for gasoline vehicles were cars, and subject to the patent. Can this issue go away? - Uh, I guess I'm guilty too.

Consuela responds to the question:

"Does Avigilon Possess Any Patents On HDSM?"

"Hawk has vintage (13 years older) and is fundamental, not a hodge podge of things."

I wish them luck and hope for them they have a lot of time and money to invest in trying to have it enforced. They've never made any attempt at manufacturing or marketing the technology and courts everywhere seem to be less and less inclined to play into the game of patent trolls.

There are discussions on HDSM because Avigilon keeps on marketing it as 'secret sauce'. The recent discussions are about '2.0' which is there new yet to be released 'secret sauce'. However, the existing 1.0 version is neither a secret nor a sauce.

Unlike Avigilon's patent application, Hawk has vintage (13 years older) and is fundamental, not a hodge podge of things.

"HDSM combines good features and great marketing but no real trade secret or unique technology."

So why are there so many discussion threads on the topic? Interesting!

As for that Hawk patent, it's very generic and a non-starter. They dropped litigation attempts against Avigilon long ago. Maybe they'll try their luck with the rest of the major players in the video surveillance market if they haven't hit on most of them already.

There is no meaningful 'trade secret' behind HDSM 1.0. It's JPEG2000 and H.264 multistreaming, based on repeated tests and usage of the Avigilon system.

HDSM combines good features and great marketing but no real trade secret or unique technology.

Btw, there is a patent related to HDSM but it's owned by an Avigilon competitor.

Here's an interesting expert discussion of the benefits/drawbacks of patents and trade secrets, as well as the mechanics of the patent application process, that might help to shine some light...or not...for the topic at hand.

Avigilon has retracted the reference to HDSM being patented on their website (the one that Rukmini found the other day).

Here's what it looked like originally:

And here's it afterward:

I am sure some Avigilon dealers will say this is a concidence and it had nothing to do with IPVM's discussion. Feel free.

And for those dealers who think IPVM is bullying Avigilon, get a clue.

Avigilon is a publicly traded company, knowingly lying about one's products being patented can cause all types of legal issues, including with investors. Now Avigilon can simply say it was a clerical error of a low level marketing person and that they immediately corrected it as soon as it was brought to their attention.

And now we have confirmation that it is not patented.

For strategic reasons, not all novel and proprietary techniques are, or will be, patented because the patent process necessitates public disclosure of information that Management prefers to keep private and confidential. Source: Avigilon 2011 Pre-IPO Financials.

Digging deeper I discovered that execs at Avigilon receive two folders during orientation, the Associate Handbook and this confidential treatise:

“If you capture the very best image and then you record that image faithfully..."

Watch it now, I'm pretty sure our buddy Todd Rockhoff has a trademark or something on terms like this ;)

Here's the abstract of the 2008 / 2010 Avigilon patent application for image capture, analysis, and transmission. I've segmented it into the 3 main parts they discuss:

(1) A link aggregation method involves identifying controller network ports to a source connected to the same subnetwork; producing packets associating corresponding controller network ports selected by the source CPU for substantially uniform selection; and transmitting the packets to their corresponding network ports.

(2) An image analysis method involves producing by a camera an indication whether a region of an image differs by a threshold extent from a corresponding region of a reference image; transmitting the indication and image data to a controller via a communications network; and storing at the controller the image data and the indication in association therewith. The controller may perform operations according to positive indications.

(3) A transmission method involves receiving user input in respect of a video stream and transmitting, in accordance with the user input, selected data packets of selected image frames thereof.

(3) makes sense though for an application in 2008, one has to wonder what prior art exists here on something so basic. (2) is basically what CODECs do. (1) I am not sure relates to video streams.

If you compare this to what Avigilon is actually doing with H.264 cameras (their own or via ONVIF), it's not this at all. It's vanilla multistreaming. Compare to the multistreaming patent and lawsuits there.

ROFL! Oh man, where is that "insightful post" button when we really need it??

I have a pair of Patent Leather shoes, as I guess would some of the mucky-mucks at Avigilon. Perhaps that is what they are referring to?

I stand by my original misunderstanding of the term "Misleading" when it was used related to HDSM and SVC, that seemed to have a negative, accusatory undertone in this one instance, that lead to all of this discovery. My Bad, Let's move on. We should all be lawyers, the sharks wouldn't attack our surf boards - Professional Courtesy.

You da man!

Maybe in 2000 they had a chance but my guess is that by 2010(!), there were dozens of similar applications pending and too many instances of prior art already at the PTO that made it not worth the effort to salvage what would end up being a very narrow and effectively worthless patent. Though if they had stayed the course, then they could at least techinally say they had the patent, issuing a standard "Non-confirming confirmation". Maybe its still in the pipeline, but time ran out before it even got in, IMO.

Now the trademark, that's the prize!

I found an Avigilon patent application. It was filed under the names of two of their top technology people (both who left the company in the past year or so). I cross referenced this for other US applications or patents but did not find anything else. I also searched for patents filed under names of 5 other Avigilon senior engineers but could find nothing else.

It's definitely about stream management, so this looks to be 'it'. However, it does not explain the repeated references to it being 'patented' as this is an application, not a granted patent.

Anyone who has studied the details of the patent, please comment. I will review more tomorrow.

"Now that they are publicly traded one would think this in some way would be disclosed and there would be a trail to follow in their annual report."

Here is their 2013 Annual Report. It mentions 'surveillance', 36 times, 'video' 30 times, 'HDSM' 7 times, but 'patent' and 'intellectual property' 0 times.

In the past year, Avigilon investor presentations have explicitly said that HDSM is 'patent pending' (see Nov 2013 deck). Yet in 2011 and on the current Avigilon webpage (as you found), it says Avigilon has patents for HDSM (which in common usage means granted, not pending). So which is it? Are they granted or they pending? Either way, where are they? What are their numbers?

Here's where I'm at:

Whatever HDSM is or was, AV has invested significant r&d$ into it.

AV considers HDSM a trade secret and would move to protect it.

With the resources AV has they would be able to acquire some patents revolving around 'HDSM' even if not exactly the ones they want.

AV, even if holding multiple valid applicable patents, may still wish to bury the patent docs themselves, as much as possible from prying eyes like a competitors or John's.

Therefore, I think there are some patents issued, or at the very least pending, for that secret and in-homogenous sauce known as HDSM.

My guess is that they are "hidden", either by a founder or better yet, held by an IP holding company which grants a perpetual license to AV, thereby increasing their "security thru obscurity". The patent most likely doesn't even contain the acronym HDSM to avoid simple discovery.

Now that they are publicly traded one would think this in some way would be disclosed and there would be a trail to follow in their annual report.

As for undisclosed A's assertation:

It's really insignificant if a patent exists, but HDSM is a trademark at this time that applies to anything they do with technology. Protected by Patent or not.

This is true if there is no 'secret sauce', i.e. no applicable/substantial/enforceable/patentable technology. Then as A implies the actual letters H D S M are more valuable than any actual underlying technology and the trademark is needed to protect the real asset.

That would make it on a par with the "Retsyn" in Certs. No offense.

I will ask you for the fourth time, have you found any patents for the Avigilon Corporation at all? Yes or no?

I understand that you are 'certain' that there is a 'real patent'. All I am asking is for you to share it with us? Patents are public records. Help us and help make your case.

I'm well aware of the diferences, and in the case of NBA, NFL, Coke, I'd like to own the trademarks.

You won't find a Patent on Viagra either, only a trademark. you will find a patent on Sildenafil

HDSM - you will find a trademark

HDSM - you won't find a patent on HDSM as it does't exist as a define patented process describing how they do what they do.

I'm certain some, and it only takes one, element of JP2K streaming from the sensors, writing it to disk, is a real patent that was developed, purchased, and used with JP2K technology. doesn't matter now, HDSM is the trademark, regardless if they use dirivative work based on GPL, it's still gonna be called HDSM..

A smart Man tells the truth - A wise man doesn't always tell all the truth. Nobody is lying...

how is the JDS - Milestone Case coming along? [IPVM Update: News on the Milestone VMS Patent Lawsuit]

"It's really insignificant if a patent exists, but HDSM is a trademark at this time that applies to anything they do with technology. Protected by Patent or not."

It's significant to many people if Avigilon's CEO is telling the truth about it being patented. I believe there must be a patent for him to say such a statement. I am just asking for help finding it. Can you find it? Can you please answer clearly? yes or no

Btw, a trademark is radically different than a patent. Patents deal with inventions. Trademarks deal with marketing. (see USPO explanation). 'Protection' by trademark is far less meaningful than 'protection' via patent.

Drawing conclusions, and passing along legal commentary from experiences with IP / Trademark law based our own experiences. I believe the original sensors in the JP2K cameras were Aptia, and the Pro is Kodak, and if the secret sauce is in the camera then one of these companies could have helped co-develop Jp2k scanning / streaming, or had the patents, and AV bought them.. It's really insignificant if a patent exists, but HDSM is a trademark at this time that applies to anything they do with technology. Protected by Patent or not.

Ok. So you found Avigilon patents granted for HDSM? Please share. Thank you.

The original JP2K cameras are all but gone, excluding the 180/360 and Pro Series, and with H4 around the corner these may be short lived, so the original patents as referenced in the "embedded in our cameras" statement is old technology, but the trademark HDSM remains and will cover all technology, IP protected or protected by trade secrets.

Btw, certainly Avigilon has patents via the VideoIQ acquisition. See all the VideoIQ patent filings.

“If you capture the very best image and then you record that image faithfully, then you can do that CSI kind of zooming-in stuff — and we can do that.”

- Alex Fernandes

So you can't dig up the patent(s)? Or you can but you are not sharing?

I found this so far via Google patent search. It appears to be an application in Canada. I tried searching the patent database of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office but found no results for Avigilon.

HDSM is a registered trademark. but the software patent for which they refer to could be for just a small portion of any part of the system. A simple file access algorythm would qualify to claim a patent. I highly doubt the entire mechanism are applied for as any IP software patent MUST standalone as a design document and leave nothing to chance for a skilled coder. So the patent is likely a small portion of their technology, and it will be in review for some time. Meanwhile trade secrets are their friends.