Member Discussion

Patent Troll - Hawk Initiates A New Round Of Patent Infringement Lawsuits?

In the first few business days of 2015, several of our customers have been served with Patent Infringement lawsuits for having a video surveillance/recording system. Has anyone else seen an increase in these or does anyone have any additional information on how best to crush these rodents who are annoying the end users?

[IPVM NOTE - See: Surveillance End Users Getting Sued and Milestone Sues Hawk]

We have 503 Panasonic cameras in the Hyatt Regency Orlando Convention Center. We were using server based Aimetis for the recording along with six Panasonic NV400s They were served last year and settled with them for some undisclosed amount of money.

BEWARE - most large company purchase orders have an indemnification clause within them. This clause makes you liable for the both the clients legal costs/defense and the result of the lawsuit.

Aimetis's position, after reviewing the suit, is that they sell the software AS IS and are not responsible. Panasonic legal did not even fell compelled to give a legal opinion.

On 12/31/2014, another one of our customer, the Hilton Garden Inn in Daytona Beach, was served with the identical lawsuit. Here we have 41 cameras running on Aimetis. The suite was forwarded to Aimetis and Panasonic.

This location is run by a very nice your gentleman who now has no idea about how to defend against this patent Troll.

This is having a veryCHILLING effect on the industry.

That's Hawk's MO.

We covered that with feedback directly from them here: Surveillance End Users Getting Sued

We also covered Milestone suing Hawk, to stop this: Milestone Sues Hawk

Doesn't this have an adverse effect also on the future relationship with your customer, assuming they end up reaching a settlement with the patent troll? Seems that the end-user customer would feel as if you betrayed them by selling something that had patent infringment issues.

I found additional lawsuits like the one Milestone filed, where both Genetec and Avigilon have filed similar claims. Likks here:

Genetec v. Hawk Technology Systems | Declaratory Judgment | Patent Claim

Avigilon Corp v. Hawk Technology Systems, LLC – Patent Blast

Chilling effect on the industry and potentially devistating effect on future contracts where end-users may require such indemnification.

YES WE LOST THE BUSINESS AT HYATT and likely will lose future busienss with the franchise owner for the Hampton Inn.

We deal with Enterprise customers and this is CHILLING!

What is the trolls approach to these suits? Or how are do they go about finding their mark? It would seem that going into businesses to see what camer/systems are being used would be a lengthy process.

From their lawsuits and other member comments, it appears they harvest potential targets from manufacturer case studies.

John, thank you. In your opinion does it seem like these trolls would be able to force manufacturers to turn over end user information or project registration information? If they were successful at that it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Makes me shudder.

I am not sure but presumably it would require some form of court order as I doubt they would voluntarily hand over non-public information.

Also, there are literally tens of thousands of case studies on manufacturer websites, so these companies have many to choose from already.

While these patent infringement lawsuits against end users seems wide spread across multiple manufactures leaving no VMS system immune, they are also widespread geographically. They're seems to be some strategy to focus on end users vs. Manufactures as previous comments have indicated and there seems to be some focus on Florida and Southeast based end users for now, which makes it easier for them to attend court hearings and appearances. Our research shows they have no legitimate business or website, simply looks like their only business is this patent troll operation. Wonder if they are IPVM members... Hopefully not!

Seems the issue overal is finally getting some main stream attention.

MSN: How U.S. laws protecting America's best ideas are killing innovation

There was a comment posted on Aimetis and this issue so I wanted to provide an update on Aimetis’ position with regards to Hawk Technology. We have filed an application for a Declaratory Judgement against Hawk Technology. We apologize we could not comment earlier. Aimetis will always do its best to support our end users and all customers.