Axis Wins, Avigilon Tripwire Patent Annulled

By John Honovich, Published Feb 06, 2019, 10:17am EST

For approaching a decade, the fundamental Object Video tripwire patent has been at the core of an industry debate over patenting and video analytic usage. Now, that patent (acquired by Avigilon a few years ago) has been annulled as Axis / Canon's petition to invalidate the tripwire patent has been granted.

Inside this note, we examine the overall legal battle between Avigilon and Axis, how this was annulled and what impact it has for the industry.

Annulled ******

*** ********* ****** *** '***** tripwire' *** **** ******** ** a*** *, **** ******** (see ****** ******), ************ *****:

*** ***** *** ********** is **** * ******* named *********, ** ***** traffic ********** ****** **** used ***** ********* ********* tripwires *** ***********.

Central ******

**** **** ** ****,**** *********** ***** **** Bosch, *******, *** ****, **** ********* ****** *** ** *** core ** *** **********. The ****** ***** ** that *** ****** ** so *********** ** ****** any ***** ******** ****** as ** ******* *********** (both ********* *** ******) as **** ** ********* which *** ********* **** to *********** ******** ********* from ****** ****** ** an ****** *****.

Ongoing **** / ******** ******

***** **** ** * significant ***** ** ******, this ** **** ** a ****** ***** ****** between ******** *** **** (and **** ****** *****).** ****, ***** **** Avigilon *** ****** ************. ***, **** ** the **** * *****,**** ***** ** ********** 4 ******** *******, ********* **** *** that *** ****** ***** just ********. ** *** same ****, ******** **** Axis *** ********* ** NDA.

*** ** **** *** seem * *** *********. However,******** ******** ****** *****'* patents ** **** *** $80 *******, *********** ********** ***********'* ************* patent ********* ******** ***** Avigilon's **** *** *** as * ***** ** boost *******. ***** *** questions ** *** *******' validity (** *** ** patents **** ** ** granted ******* *** *** frequently ********** ** * petition ** **** *** done ****), **** ********** are ***** ****** **********.

Impact ** ******** ****** *********

********** **** *** ********** of (** *****) ******** hype, ********* **** ****** eliminates * ***** ******* for ********* ******** **** they *** *** ********* Avigilon's *******. **** *** most ********* * ******* for **** ** **** a *** ****** ****** area ** ******* / tolled ** * ***** competitor.

**** **** *** *** Avigilon's ****** *********, ******, by *** *****. ******** still *** **** ************ ** ***** ********* program, ****** ******** *** tripwire *** *** *** most ********.

****, ** ******* ** not **** *******. *** tripwire patent *** **** *** 2000s **, ** **** point ** *** **** few *****, *** ****** would **** ****** ******* (though **** ** ****** be ******* ***** ******* of ****** ***).

Adds ** ******* ************

**** ** *** ****** time ** * **** that **** *** *** a ****** ****-*** **** a **********. ** ******** 2018,******* ********* ************ ** their **** *****-****** ****** after *********** * ******* ****** of ************ **** ******.

Axis / ******** ******** *******

**** **** *** ******** declined ** ******* ** IPVM ** *** ******.

Comments (15)

....Avigilon acquired Object Video's patents in 2014 for $80 million...arguably the tripwire one was the most valuable.

Any reaction from Bay Street?

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By Bay Street are you implying the Toronto stock exchange? I don't get it. Avigilon is no longer a publicly traded company as it was acquired by Motorola Solutions which trades on the NYSE.

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Yes, forgot :(

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And Motorola Solutions is a large enough company with a variety of businesses that this is effectively immaterial. However, for the video surveillance analytics market, it is material.

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Uff...Lucky we are :)))

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Congrats Axis and thanks for taking on the fight.  Patents stifle innovation.

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Patents stifle innovation.

Both agree and disagree. I see you are a manufacturer.  Does your firm not have some patents in play?  Axis certainly does.  What I feel stifles innovation is the horrible patent system in play in the US, the methods used to abuse it, and the sheer amount of capital that some of these companies wield.  I'm not saying Avigilon was an abuser or not - I simply don't know.  ObjectVideo was definitely a patent troll at the end.

Note: I did not vote the disagree.

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Does your firm not have some patents in play? Axis certainly does

Most companies with patents use them defensively rather than offensively. That was the issue with OV, that it became this weapon.

And so I don't entirely agree with "Patents stifle innovation" but I do think it's fair to say that overly broad patents or patents that are granted quickly without really considering existing prior art are a problem.

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Exactly! Patents should be a shield to protect IP, not a weapon.

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Patents are one reason that innovators are motivated to innovate. Say you come up with the next wiz-bang thing. If there were no patents, then you would have instant competition that also has the same wiz-bang thing that they copied from without all that pesky effort and investment. That's an oversimplified view, but your comment is also oversimplified.   

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Is

a DBA name, or a TBA product?

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It's a wholly owned subsidiary that I believe holds their patent portfolio. It is mentioned, e.g., in this Avigilon financial report.

I am guessing there is some form of legal reason to do so but it's fundamentally a part of Avigilon.

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So Axis won, but at what cost? As the article points out, the patent is due to expire soon. How much was spent trying to invalidate this one patent, how much revenue did Axis lose or have to pay in license fees? Would Axis endure this protracted and expensive ordeal again? If I were Avignon, I may quote Nathanael Green after losing the battle of Bunker Hill, "I wish we could sell them another at the same price..." 

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Would Axis endure this protracted and expensive ordeal again?

But there is more to this than just a single patent. Avigilon now has to be concerned about what Axis is willing to do to Avigilon's other patents.

Also, keep in mind, Axis does more than a billion dollars in revenue so they have the scale where it may be worth spending $100,000 on contesting this patent to save that on patent licensing.

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Does Axis have the same issue with their parent company that you discussed earlier in reference to Motorola/Avigilon? Does Canon have the taste for blood that Motorola doesn't? Honest question, because both are wholly owned subsidiaries.

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