Milestone Sues Hawk

By John Honovich, Published Jul 18, 2014, 12:00am EDT

Last year, an inventor / troll said they were going to sue end users for violating a patent they have on video surveillance technology.

Now, they have fulfilled their promise with 28 lawsuits this year. However, Milestone Systems has struck back, suing Hawk.

In this note, we examine what is happening.

Background

The company, Hawk Technology Systems has essentially patented multi-streaming video surveillance (the patent in question is RE43,462, a re-issue of patent 5,625,410filed in April 1995.)

Here's how they describe it:

“This invention relates generally to video monitoring, and, more particularly, to such systems employing means for digitizing camera images for display at a first image size, sampling rate, and frame rate, and for digital storage at a second imagesize, sampling rate, and frame rate.” [emphasis added]

For more, see our original report / analysis.

Hawk Lawsuits

Hawk has sued a lot of end users this year. Here is a record of all the lawsuits Hawk is involved in since the beginning of 2014:

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Here are a few of Hawk's lawsuits:

Milestone's Lawsuit

Among the many end user lawsuits Hawk has filed are a number of Milestone end users (Milestone cites 2 in particular - Loyola and Woodman's Market). To proactively stop further suits, Milestone has filed its own lawsuit against Hawk. Milestone's goal is to have the court declare that Milestone does not infringe on these patents.

Milestone has made a number of counterarguments including prior art, claiming that, "As of June 12, 2012, when the ’462 patent reissued, Milestone Systems A/S had invested fourteen years of effort to develop its video surveillance software products, including the development of XProtect."

The lawsuit was filed in June 2014 and is being litigated.

Outlook

With Hawk relentlessly suing end users, manufacturers need to increasingly examine what to do about this. 

Obviously, it is bad for business and for reputation to allow one's customers to be sued for using one's products. Even if Milestone wins, this most certainly would only apply to their products and would likely require each manufacturer to replicate Milestone's actions.

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