Manufacturers: Get Paying or Get Sued - Avigilon Patent Licensing Program

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jul 29, 2015

The new Avigilon 'patent licensing program' is starting to roll out, confirmed Avigilon's CEO on today's earnings call.

This is just a month after an Avigilon employee and multiple Avigilon dealers went berserk on an IPVM discussion, calling "bull***', 'slander', denouncing 'rumors' on this topic.

Inside this note, we share what Avigilon's CEO said, how this helps solve a major Avigilon problem, the potential industry impact and the likely competitive responses.

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Comments (64)

Not just another patent troll... THE patent troll...

It sounds though as there is more potential growth in patent trolling than selling security equipment. I am certain this is a good move by Avigilon as much as we all detest using patent law to increase revenue.

Bryan discusses avo patent enforcement strategy with Alex...

Ha!

Mobotix was able to fight agains similar patent enforcement, there's still hope.

The industry's only hope is....... Mobotix :)

See Mobotix prevails in patent dispute.

Related, we spoke with Mobtotix's CEO about that. Here is some color from what they did:

"I visited e-Watch two years ago and I promised them that we will delete their patents because they were not state of the art. In February 2000 we had a printed English brochure which we used at the big CeBIT computer show in Germany at that time. This document was legally attested by the printing company to be authentic. In this brochure most of the functions of today's IP-cameras are presented (recoding by event, bandwidth change by event, telephone calls, IP-messages by event, etc.). Here is a PDF copy of the same brochure. Beside others, this document is a good brochure to show what state of the art was in year 2000. As you will see, a lot of ideas currently used in the market today came from MOBOTIX, which I founded in June 1999. I am sure, most of the patents in IP video issued after February 2000, were not state of the art and can be deleted. We will continue on this battle and are currently starting to delete other patents that are attacking us.

The money we spend in total for the lawsuit AND to delete 145 patent claims out of 150, which are included in four e-watch patents (IPR process) was approx. 1.5 Million US $."

It will be interesting to see if Avigilon leaves Mobotix alone. Mobotix certainly offers video analytics but has their prior patent enforcement response demonstrated that they are not worth the risk going after?

If the majority of the Integrators were to put Avigilon at the top of their "Blackball List" and held firm to not represent, sell or play ball with them, perhaps they would consider playing fairly among their industry neighbors.

I remember a real stupid decision made once by the head of Ultrak which turned integrators against them, which by the way, ultimately was a factor leading to their demise.

"If the majority of the Integrators were to put Avigilon at the top of their "Blackball List"

But Avigilon's model is based on only having a small number of partners (the best of the best of the best or the most punch drunk trunkslammers, depending on one's point of view). So even if most integrators refuse to deal with Avigilon, they should be ok. Indeed, I can see some of their integrator partners embracing this, e.g., beating up Genetec.

That said, there are certainly risks / concerns about how this impacts Avigilon in the industry. As we saw with OV, such efforts, legal, fair or not, are not well received by others in the industry. It can have a negative impact on employee moral, the willingness of people to work at a company, partner with them, etc. A lot of that depends how aggressive Avigilon is and how their competitors respond.

Integrators in general, are not really interested in politics, but in a reliable, worry-free product that brings them a healthy profit. The general response from integrators we spoke to, about Avigilon's patent aquisitions, was: "smart move"!

Recurring income based on a product in demand by many others, at least gives some form of financial protection in a market where price is almost THE most important driving force. In fact the same action could have been taken bij any other party with a large "war chest".

It is up to the other manufacturers of VCA products to find a short practical or a long legal solution.

Berserk - That's a stretch. All I've read from the many detractors of Avigilon are words of hatred, malice, unsupported allegations, and personal attacks on management, all from the comfort of "UNDISCLOSED."

In the world of business and ideas, I defend there right to do business as they see fit, just as Exacq has chosen to target Avigilon Cameras for Exclusion from their OPEN VMS platform claims.

Perhaps the investment and consolidation of many Patents into a single repository will do the industry good, and put everyone on an even playing field when in comes to potential patent enfringments.

I've beaten Avigilon on proposals before. And most times I did it by debunking some of the perceived benefits of a 10MP and 20MP cameras, and pointing out he limitations of such. And here's my name.

Luis, Avigilon does not have a 10MP nor a 20MP camera. You seem to be confusing Avigilon with Arecont.

"Luis, Avigilon does not have a 10MP nor a 20MP camera. You seem to be confusing Avigilon with Arecont."

Thank you, Und 8, you're right. I do confuse the sizes between the two sometimes.

IPVM, I guess the [Edit] button is not an option after the post has been on for awhile. Would you please correct the sizes I listed from 10MP and 20MP to 16MP and 29MP. Thanks!

Since you keep mentioning it, someone needs to correct you.

Exacq did not choose "to target Avigilon Cameras for Exclusion from their OPEN VMS platform claims." They chose to stop supporting camera side VMD which was initially added through Avigilon's Inaxys OEM and they claim wasn't working right. Avigilon cameras were never on Exacq's supported devices list. Readers can see our coverage of this here.

Further, they still do support them, the same way they support hundreds and hundreds of other cameras, via Profile S. And they work fine, as we've tested and shown. VMD doesn't work, so you're limited to continuous recording.

Whether Exacq's decision to end VMD support was wise or not is debateable, but it's disengenuous to somehow conflate suing manufacturers over this vague patent portfolio you purchased with choosing not to write a direct driver or expand support beyond ONVIF for a competitor's cameras.

"Berserk" seems pretty accurate to me. I guess it all depends on perspective...

Perhaps the investment and consolidation of many Patents into a single repository will do the industry good, and put everyone on an even playing field when in comes to potential patent enfringments

This is like telling your kids to give the bully their lunch money now because he's going to beat on everyone anyway.

So looks like probablity is high Avigilon stock is going to go either sharply up in the coming year or two or sharply down. Up if people pay up and/or patents are validated, or down if they start losing challenges.

For what its worth, Geutebruck analytics are self-developed so it offers a great "non-Avigilon" option. And Geutebruck is one of the few truly independent VMS manufacturers still out there. Worth taking a look at.

Charles, no disrespect :) but that does not mean Avigilon is not going to make a target out of Geutebruck. Related, commenting on IPVM does not help in that cause, though I applaud your courage!

I’m not an attorney (to my mother’s eternal disappointment) but I’d like to take a contrarian position on this. There is nothing evil about patents. And thank goodness we have them. Inventors and companies must be incentivized to invest in innovation, knowing that if the fruits of their labor meets the PTO criteria, they may eventually rely on the full backing of the U.S. government to protect their IP rights, and the rights of their customers.

In the meantime, holding out hopes that the IP will be deemed “invalid” is no defense against liability. On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Commil v. Cisco, No. 13-896, that a good faith belief that a patent is invalid is not a defense to induced infringement claims under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b).

So what can we do? Invent! Yes Avigilon holds a commanding IP portfolio. This should energize manufacturers to patent their own technology, and put themselves in a position to cross license with other partners including Avigilon.

Patents may seem like drag on our industry, but I think not having IP protection would be far worse.

"I’m not an attorney (to my mother’s eternal disappointment)"

Well, the attorney business ain't what it used to be (google 'lawyer bubble')....

"There is nothing evil about patents. And thank goodness we have them."

I am not sure many argue to abolish patents entirely. The bigger question is what can be patented, how broadly those patents can be applied, etc. For example, OV used to claim that they had a patent on metadata applied to video analytics in general and tripwire in general. Should those be patented? Is there no prior art of anyone using such concepts or approaches before OV? etc.

John - good questions. And now I think the focus is directed in the right direction - the PTO. Should OV's claims have been allowed? Well, we already have the PTO's position. Yes. And that standard is stronger than the "beyond any reasonable doubt" standard we've all heard on old Perry Mason episodes. The PTO determined that OV's claims were 1. Non-obvious, 2. Useful and 3. Novel.

The Examiner could have cited previous art from any quarter and combined them in any way to claim the invention was not obvious. It passed that test. The invention has to be useful and practical, for example not a perpetual motion machine. It passed that test. And it has to be novel. OV's early patents date back to the first examples of VA for security. I would think in Machine Vision applications the trip wire was well established. Maybe the Field of Invention was scoped for physical security, or for targets being people and vehicles, not Coke bottles. However they narrowed the claims, it worked.

So let's not put the inventors in the cross hairs. We are all obliged to play by the rules of the PTO.

"Well, we already have the PTO's position. Yes. And that standard is stronger than the "beyond any reasonable doubt" standard we've all heard on old Perry Mason episodes."

Receiving a patent does not guarantee the patent. Indeed, many argue that it is too easy to get a patent, with deeper patent analysis left to re-examination.

Indeed, a few years ago, Bosch did try to invalidate key OV claims through the US Patent Office's re-examination process but dropped that when they reach a settlement with OV.

Certainly other companies can launch a re-examination of any or many of the numerous Avigilon / OV / etc. patents. If so, we will see how well they hold up to stricter scrutiny.

FWIW, as for the key OV patents, both have been reexamined and upheld a little over a year ago. Ironically, it may have been due to the Bosch request.

Unlike the lawsuit which can be dropped at any time, reexams may proceed in any event, especially once the PTO has started...

Wow, is these Disagree and Unhelpful ratings because you disagree with Skip’s comment on principle, or because you may perceive as him supporting Avigilon’s claims? I for one agree with everything Skip says about patent protection being a good thing and necessary. I’ve worked on a development project before with the idea it would be a patentable technology, which is what made it worth it.

I do believe a lot of these broadly interpreted, unspecific patents involving some of the analytics and things like multistreaming are highly dubious, but I also concede I’m not a patent attorney. All I’m saying is, be careful your perceptions aren’t colored by recent actions like Hawk and other such trolls. And make sure the manufacturers you deal with have it in writing they will indemnify you, integrators, dealers and customers against claims. This fight should be between manufacturers, not between manufacturers and customers.

I feel the problems you're seeing discussed regarding patent portfolios is not that anyone feels inventors/innovators should/should not be protected. Innovation absolutely should be protected! The concern that is being voiced by many inside and outside our industry is that patent law no longer seems to serve the purpose it was designed for. No longer is patent law protecting some industrious inventor from having IP stolen. Instead, it is now being sold off by the inventor to a larger corporation which exists only to litigate for monetary gain ("Patent Trolls") and have minimal interest in protecting their product. Avigilon is perceived to be aggressive and now hold a very lucrative patent portfolio. With patent holders pursuing end-users for an easier cash-in this presents threats not only to the manufacturer but the integrator and end-user as well if the same approach is taken here. I hope Avigilon does not take that approach as I want to believe Avigilon is better than to go after low hanging fruit.

"I am not sure many argue to abolish patents entirely. The bigger question is what can be patented, how broadly those patents can be applied"

That IS the real question..

Does the broad blanket protection of some patents and their subsequent agressive enforcement, stiffle innovation by manufacturers' who refrain from investing heavily in R&D of the better technology, particularly in areas covered by such blanket patents?

Buying a patent troll does not make you a patent troll.

No one would deny Avigilon sells and is interested in selling more analytics. And cameras.

This IS an important consideration. IMHO, the OV patents are far less dangerous in the hands of Avigilon than OV. Why?

Because there was no way to counter-attack OV for infringement. They were (at the end) only a licensing company. Avigilon is different.

Avigilon manufacturers and sells technology. Between Sony, Samsung and Panasonic they certainly have patents that they could assert against Avigilon, if they were sued.

But they didn't have this option with OV.

Maybe they will just go after the minor players, but this is a lot more work with a lot less profit.

I think that they will pursue enforcement to the degree that it doesn't jeopordize their core business by opening themselves up to claims of counter-infringement.

Buying a patent with the intention of sueing people using products that, arguably, violate that patent is the definition of patent trolling.

Treating patent violation litigation as a revenue stream is the definition of patent trolling.

Couldn´t agree more!

Treating patent violation litigation as a revenue stream is the definition of patent trolling.

Disagree.

First Avigilon is not treating the litigation as a revenue stream, only the licensing of the IP as revenue. They want to avoid litigation costs as much as anyone.

Second, most, if not all major technology companies will/do license their IP.

And count it as revenue.

For me a true troll is a NPE, an outsider, with no vested interest in the technology, who sits under a bridge he does not need to cross...

Avigilon's CEO opened up about their patent revenue plans on the call and the rolling out of the licensing program, noting that "we are very excited about revenue we plan to get in the coming years."

When a company spends 35% of their total 2014 revenue on patents and their CEO states he is "very excited" about the patent revenue from "targets"... as opposed to being excited about the new product development and sales of those products, that self-appoints and qualifies them as a "Patent Troll", like it or not!

He said Avigilon was already in negotiation with "several targets" but that the targets would "grow exponentially" as they ramped up.

Surely he wasnt talking about ramping up production and shipping... but rather the quantity of files on the lawyer's desk!

Does this not cause more harm than good to our industry when the costs of these litigations and licensing agreements are passed along and added to everyone's cost?

Who wins here? Is it the Chinese who really don't care about patents, are essentially immune to litigation and laugh all the way to the bank while everyone fights each other?

Hey, maybe you're right and Avigilon has decided to forget about manufacturing technology and instead become the biggest Troll ever. It's possible, I can't deny it. But that's not my point.

Trolls are feared because you can't attack them, not because you can't defend against them.

My point is that it is much harder to sue the pants off of everybody when you are a manufacturer of products that have technology that others could claim is infringing. Not that the claims would prevail necessarily. Just that the resulting counter-claims and requests for temporary injunctions are costly and potentially risky.

IMHO, you are not going to see Avigilon suing Bosch, Sony, Panasonic, Techwin, Milestone like OV did or would. The risk to Avigilon's operational side would be to great. And right now that's far greater than their IP program.

Could their business start to depend too much on licensing and eventually succumb to the Dark Side as OV did, giving up on being a real manufacturer?

Yes, but considering we have yet to see a single lawsuit or even a single addition to their license program, we have a while before we could get to that.

Name a rabid patent troll in any technology that is a top manufacturer of that same technology. Maybe you can find one, I don't know of any.

"IMHO, you are not going to see Avigilon suing Bosch, Sony, Panasonic, Techwin, Milestone like OV did or would."

If they are not going to sue any large deep pocket manufacturers, how do they make the big money they are telling investors they will make?

So you think those types of mega companies are just going to voluntarily agree to pay Avigilon millions or Avigilon is simply going to give them a pass?

I wonder if they're planning on offering them licensing agreements, and that's where they expect the money to come from. Sue a couple smaller guys, and then while everything is tied up in court, call the big guys and say "you know, we could go to court, or you could pay this very small, totally reasonable licensing fee, your call". Then Avigilon gets a little piece of every Milestone or Panasonic sale.

As you may recall, I never thought this was a good investment, primarily because of this.

I think Avigilon will do what it can to collect what it can, from who it can. I just don't see them pulling out all the stops, like a headless patent troll can.

Anyway, as much as I would like to take credit for this understanding, its not mine, nor new thinking.

To understand why privateering is so concerning, one must first comprehend the uneasy state of patent détente that, at the best of times, characterizes the software industry and much of computing in general. Software firms unavoidably operate in a state of perpetual patent infringement. Over 100,000 new software patents are granted every year, many for ideas that are not very complicated and likely to be independently invented. It is simply impossible for a software firm to know for certain that it is not infringing upon any patents. As a result, most software firms have given up on trying to know. Software engineers are actively discouraged from conducting patent searches because willful infringement would subject the company to treble damages if proved in court. With every firm potentially infringing on every other firm, software companies live, at the best of times, in a state of mutually assured destruction. If one company sues, then it is likely to face a counter-suit. If nothing destabilizes the equilibrium, then the software industry is free to innovate without the burden of worrying about infringing upon patent rights. -Umlaut

"I think Avigilon will do what it can to collect what it can, from who it can. I just don't see them pulling out all the stops, like a headless patent troll can."

The difference is that these patents were not filed on software created by Avigilon but rather aquired with $93M CAPEX. Do you truly think they will be satisfied to collect what they can and not pull out all the stops?

Do you truly think they will be satisfied to collect what they can and not pull out all the stops?

I admit I can't predict what they might do; I would not have imagined they would have paid half of what they did for these patents...

But I will say that if they think they can pull a play out of the OV playbook, i.e., sue all the biggest names concurrently, they will also need to jettison their business like OV did.

BUT, here's what they could do NOW if they want to get the most value out of the patents:

Sell them to a experienced, successful and capitalized Troll, even at a loss. Make the terms of the sale include an eternal right to use. Wash their hands of responsibility. Trolls then do what they do naturally.

Avigilon gets cash and kudos. Everyone else gets sued.

IMHO, that would be a worse outcome for the industry. What do you think?

Assuming they aren't just doing this for the cash, instead of doing it for the cash and the fun of making life difficult for their competition. But knowing what we do about the way Avigilon operates means we shouldn't make that assumption.

Could this recent case between Microsoft and Google have some bearing?

Google loses bid to overturn low-cost patent licenses to Microsoft

I think maybe. Avigilon may not make as much as it had hoped, and manufacturers may not have to pay as much as they thought, if some judge determines the technology is in wide enough use that an overly large (subjective) royalty should not have to be paid. And that's IF patent claims are validated to begin with.

I assume this is just a coincidence but today's announcement: SIA Supports Legislation to Crack Down on Patent Trolls

1. I'm not sure what SIA can do, though happy they are making a statement.

2. I know that the Linux community formed an organization where participating companies all donated their patents to a non-profit called the Open Invention Network, to allow all the other participating companies to use them. http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/

This was several years ago, so I don't know the current situation, but at the time, the goal was to level the playing field for smaller companies to be able to achieve the same 'cold war' status of non-suing that the larger companies with rich patent portfolios enjoy.

Otherwise, a strategy becomes patent what you can in the hope that you can indeed use it defensively. Or buy your own patents to cross-sue. Again, takes cash.

3. Just because you sell product doesn't mean you don't have a double roll as patent troll. IBM is well known for profiting from collecting patent royalties on products it doesn't make.

4. It's understandable that most of us who see most patent suits as anti-competitive are remaining anonymous here. If a company has shown they are willing to sue - why would we set ourselves or our companies on their radar in some way?

5. As to the commentor that defended Avigilon as prefering not to sue - of course. It's simply faster and less expensive for them to just collect royalties without the court battle, ie higher profits.

6. A patent being upheld previously does not make it valid. Companies make mistakes in their legal strategy, or choose a poor one. Nor does the fact that some companies find it cheaper and farless distracting to just pay the royalty.

7. Yes, typically the patent-holding companies go after the companies with significant enough revenues to earn them $$. But they must then weigh that against the odds of successful cross-suits. So much strategy involved even in target selection.

8. Patents have a place, but unfortunately they are heavily abused. I assume folks know that you cannot patent the combo of common technology A + common technology B. But the patent office is overwhelmed and these get through.

9. Avigilon can be expected to proceed as long as this is profitable for them.

10. I know of a situation years ago where the general community came forward en masse to help uncover 'prior art' to disallow the patent in the suit. Further, the community did call a boycott on the products of the suing company (which did sell a product in their area they were suing on). I don't know if the boycott took hold directly, but hurt the company image for sure. Prior to that the companies being sued got a bad rep. After that the same suing company was a pariah.

Never underestimate the pressure of maintaining a positive company image.

The worse situations I see is when the suing company sues the users of the technologies as well as the vendor suing them.

Just because you sell product doesn't mean you don't have a double roll as patent troll. IBM is well known for profiting from collecting patent royalties on products it doesn't make.

Agree, in theory. Though it weakens the word a bit, since there are many, many otherwise reputable firms that have no problem doing the same as IBM.

Remember when a "Hacker" was a bad guy?

Undisclosed 9, thanks, a number of interesting points.

I must take issue with one, though:

"Never underestimate the pressure of maintaining a positive company image."

You do know we are talking about Avigilon here? That's like saying Donald Trump cares what Mexicans think about him....

No company in the surveillance industry cares less about 'positive company image' than Avigilon, certainly when it comes to what industry people think.

Indeed, I can see them using this as a marketing positive. This was the point of the original discussion behind this. Avigilon now has the option to tell prospects and partners that key partners violate their patents and are at risk of being sued. If they do that, sure they risk some blowback on them but they also have the upside of using it to FUD and beat their competitors.

Nailed it.

This is really where Avigilon should be concerned. They are building a bad name in the industry, especially with folks who may be potential employees. If they continue to get greasier and greasier, eventually the quality Avigilon-ites will quit, and the new talent they hire will be just as greasy as they will have become. Greasy tacticts + greasy employees = no one wants to play with you.

>>No company in the surveillance industry cares less about 'positive company image' than Avigilon, certainly when it comes to what industry people think.

John, I should clarify my comment, as I agree with you that many (most?) suing companies feel 100% justified in what they are doing, and don't care about perception in general.

However, I'v noticed that if the prevailing external view is that the suing company is wrong, and that the public awareness and conversation *continues* to the point the the company sales team actually hears it from customers in a negative way, that the company being sued does face pressure.

Then it becomes pure ROI - are the lawsuit revenues offset the loss in sales. Of course if a patent has a large target base to sue, it would be hard to let go of the large potential revenue stream.

I bring this up because I've seen the company being sued stay quiet in the public eye and it actually HURT them. It is a trade-off as the suing company will tie you up in depositions for any public comments, so they must be by the books.

It was actually forums like yours that did the bulk of education on a particular patent to folks to truly understand - and thus had the impact.

So thanks for bringing this up.

Manufacturers just need to simply do one thing- make it so their cameras recognize an avigilon system and refuse to operate with the avigilon system...in other words be uncooperative. If customers want to pay out the butt using avigilon software, they can pay out the butt for the cameras.

It can have serveral effects, but we know customers arent going to want to pay $$$$$$$ for avigilon cameras....so it could very well bite avigilon in the rear.

I must say, I am surprised by the asperity directed at Avigilon by many of these comments. IP assets have a defensive and offensive dimension. Both are legitimate. Innovation costs money. Patents protect that investment. Don’t like the way it works? Tell it to the PTO. They make the rules, not Avigilon.

In the meantime, Avigilon is doing what they think they must to drive their business. Which is not without risk, their decision to spend so much capital on IP assets may prove to not be a good one.

It strikes me as a tiny bit off base to call them trolls (they’re not), predicting they won’t be able to attract talent and making them the industry bad guy because they rolled up some IP and intend to monetize it.

I thought the comments on potential blowback showed good insight. Alleged infringers have options and in many cases leverage of their own to respond with. It’s up to Avigilon to strike the right balance with their customers. I don’t necessarily look forward to paying royalties to Avigilon either, but it’s all within the framework defined by the way business and government works.

"It strikes me as a tiny bit off base to call them trolls (they’re not), predicting they won’t be able to attract talent and making them the industry bad guy because they rolled up some IP and intend to monetize it."

I am not sure they need this to make them 'the industry bad guy'. But if OV was disliked for suing big manufacturers, if Avigilon does similar, why do you think it would be any better for Avigilon? You may think it's unfair, but that does not mean it is 'off base' to imagine that will happen.

It's the purchasing of patents for offensive reasons that is scary, rather than to protect your own innovation with a legit patent, or to defensively survive a patent suit.

As for the PTO, they were so overwhelmed that they were rubber stamping patents that should never have been issued - particularly in the area of software.

It was getting to the point where every website owner would need to pay a royalty for using the standard compressed jpeg...because basically anything and everything was being patented (e.g. 1 click ordering...)

Thank goodness the Supreme Court finally ruled on software patents last summer, but it's been a long time in coming (7 years for that particular lawsuit).

It hurt US business, as other countries weren't trying to protect 'ideas' and 'algorithms' versus physical inventions.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/06/bad-day-bad-patents-supreme-court-unanimously-strikes-down-abstract-software

Lots more to be done in patent reform. And public awareness is part of the needed path.

By the way, I don't know if you people remember, but I patented the process of using Google for searches. Not Google's technology or algorithims, but the act of using Google to do web searches. So I hope you people using Google to do your research to comment on here have been counting your searches, because you ALL owe me money!

But if you only used one mouse click to buy those thermal socks for the coming winter, you're Amazon's problem.

So I hope you people using Google to do your research to comment on here have been counting your searches...

How to see everything youve ever googled...

There are ways for Avigilon to captalize on their patents without coming off like a rabid troll.

Forget about claims which are based on technologies already common place, e.g. motion detection, cross line and general meta-data capture.

Push to be the first to commercially implement new video analytic features.

Keep abreast of where competitors are in terms of their development.

Notify competitors, when appropriate, that their technology may be infringing on Avigilon's, preferably BEFORE roll-out.

Work with those competitors to insure licensing or non-infringement.

Done this way their revenue will slowly but surely begin to grow without excessive legal fees or negative repercussions.

It's the right way to do it.

Should Avigilon go after Nest/Dropcam/Google for infringement?

Goog/Nest/Dropcam is in the video analytics business and obviously have huge pockets.

Though that raises the question of how Google would respond? Does Google try to wipe them out? Pay them to go away? Or in AF's fantasy, buy them up for $2 to $3 billion?

How could they 'wipe them out'?

Meaning seek to invalidate the patents. Google has the resources and staff to find, present and argue prior art, etc that could invalidate many patents (of many companies, Avigilon included).

Legal research conundrum: If one is suing Google should one be using Google? ;)

No one will prosper for very long with this kind of business model. Avigilon deserves what is rightfully theirs according to the law, but the industry as a whole will suffer from this approach to making money. Avigilon will be part of the disaster that has overtaken our country. The disaster that makes it possible to sue McDonalds because the coffee is hot. I thought Avigilon was trying to make a better camera system, to make it easier to use than any other system, to make it more affordable than any other system. Well, someone will do that while Avigilon is in court getting paid.

“Avigilon Patent Crisis”

Our VMS company, has maintained the highest standards in support of interoperability between camera manufactures and our software solutions. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that offensive actions are being taken by Avigilon in preparation for nefarious activities. The purpose of these actions can be none other than to place a legal noose around the security industry.

Upon receiving the first preliminary hard information of this nature last Wednesday, I directed our engineering team to remove all support for Avigilon cameras. And having now confirmed and completed our evaluation of the evidence and our decision on a course of action, this VMS company feels obliged to report this new crisis to you.

"..unmistakable evidence has established the fact that offensive actions are being taken by Avigilon in preparation for nefarious activities."

such as?

Update: Avigilon CFO at an investor's conference today mentioned details on rolling out the patent licensing / enforcement campaign. Said they were 'targeting' 5-7 companies at first, mainly smaller targets but perhaps one or 2 larger companies. Also, emphasized that people with licenses already (via OV) are still potential targets for other patents that Avigilon owns but that the existing licenser has not licensed.

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