ObjectVideo Expands Patent Infringement ClaimsBy: John Honovich, Published on May 13, 2011
Not only does the ObjectVideo lawsuit campaign continue, ObjectVideo has expanded the number and scope of patents that it claims Bosch, Samsung and Sony have infringed. In the initial court filing, ObjectVideo cited 4 patents primarily covering video tripwire and calibration. Now, in a 64 page ammended complaint, ObjectVideo is adding 2 new patents to the list of infringed claims. While the complaint is primarily boilerplate, the key strategic impact comes from the addition of a new patent covering a major technology area not included in the original complaint.
The newly included patent, 7,424,175, titled, "Video segmentation using statistical pixel modeling" covers foreground / background segmentation. This is a very fundamental aspect of video analytics. Such segmentation is key to reducing false alarms. Analytic manufacturers will often cite foreground / background segmnetation as an important differentiator between their offerings and motion detection. If you can determine what is background, such as leaves, tree branches, poles, etc. you can do a much better job of eliminating false alarms triggered by leaves blowing in the wind, shadows from a moving sun, etc. The '175' patent is a continuation in part from an early Objectvideo patent application / patent, 6,625,310, filed in March 2001 and approved in September 2003.
These new patents cover 4 embodiments - that is methods of implementing the system / technology patented including: (1) two pass segmentation, (2) one pass segmentation, (3) modified one pass segmentation and (4) real time video stream one pass segmentation.
This patent infringement claim is likely to have a different and potential more disprutive impact than the original complaint. Tripwire and calibration are much easier for a user to see and determine as they are displayed on the user interface of an analytic. As such, it is easier to make a judgment about potential violation / risk. By contrast, it is hard to know whether an analytic system is using foreground / background segmentation without having lower level knowledge of the analytic. Worse, based on public information, it is likely impossible to determine whether the method of foreground / background segmentation is covered by 1 of ObjectVideo's 4 patented embodiments.
Bottom line, we think this ammended complaint significantly increases the potential for ObjectVideo to claim more analytic providers are violating their patents.