ObjectVideo Sues Bosch, Samsung and Sony

By: John Honovich, Published on Apr 06, 2011

In an unprecedented move bound to have a major impact across the global video surveillance industry, ObjectVideo has filed a lawsuit against Bosch, Samsung and Sony for patent infringement. On April 6, 2010, ObjectVideo filed suit in US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia claiming violations of 4 video analytic patents.

Why Did This Happen?

ObjectVideo has been struggling for the last few years. After the video analytic hype bubble burst so too did Object Video's fortunes - layoffs inside the company and widespread dissapointment with ObjectVideo's performance across the industry followed (see Pro updates on OV's poor reputation and 'nobody' wanting OV's analytics).

In the last year, OV seemed to fade away - no major new advances and not even much public communication. Then, at the beginning of 2011, an SEC document disclosed that ObjectVideo received a whopping $27.7 Million USD investment - all the more surprising given OV's lack of real world success. Just last week, we released a Pro analysis on OV's funding and future, citing patent litigtion as a likely center of OV's going forward strategy. Then, on Monday, our web spider picked up a new page on OV's website listing a VP of Litigation. Upon seeing that, we quipped at the time, "Dear analytic manufacturers, your lawsuits are in the mail :)" We were, evidently, more right than we knew.

What Does this Mean?

We believe ObjectVideo is going after 'big fish' - the largest manufacturers in the world with the deepest pockets (by most metrics Bosch, Samsung and Sony are in the Top 10 globally in the surveillance industry). While there are dozens of small video analytic only manufacturers, most are doing less than $10 Million in revenue and are likely poor financial targets.

Notably absent from this lawsuit are Axis, Pelco and Cisco. As we examined in our OV future review, Axis has licensed patents from OV to protect itself from this. Pelco and Cisco both OEM / re-sell OV analytic software.

We believe this will have a chilling effect over the entire video analytic industry (as if the struggling analytic industry needed another black eye). Until this is resolved, all users face real risk from using not only Bosch, Samsung and Sony products but any other analytic that OV might sue.

The End of OV

Whether OV 'wins' this lawsuit or not, we think OV is finished as an ongoing operational company, certainly in their current incarnation. OV's historical approach was to partner with video surveillance companies, OEMing their video analytic software. After this offensive, we believe surveillance manufacturers would be resistant to partner with OV (unless they were essentially forced by court decision). That noted, OV is likely doing this because the OEM model has failed. This looks to us as their last ditch effort to make a return on the massive amount invested / wasted in OV over the last decade.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

More Coverage

We are tracking the OV lawsuit campaign. Here are recent updates:

  • Are ObjectVideo's Patents Invalid? - May 4, 2011
  • Sony Fights Back Against ObjectVideo - May 9, 2011
  • ObjectVideo Expands Patent Infringement Claims - May 14, 2011
  • ObjectVideo / Mirasys Patent Agreement Examined - May 16, 2011
  • New Evidence Against OV's Patent Claims - June 1, 2011
  • US ITC to Investigate ObjectVideo Charges - July 28, 2011
  • Defense Building Against OV's USITC Case - October 3, 2011
  • When will the ObjectVideo Lawsuits End? - December 8, 2011
  • Sony Folds to ObjectVideo Lawsuit - February 8, 2012
  • 60 Day Ultimatum - March 23, 2012
  • Are ObjectVideo's Patent About to Get Invalidated? - April 18, 2012
  • Pelco Sued by ObjectVideo - May 14, 2012
  • Samsung Beats OV - July 21, 2012
  • The specific patents cited are:

    From the patents, here are a few key sections that describe the key claims OV makes and is charging other companies as violating:

    • From 6696945: "Implements a video tripwire system, in which a virtual tripwire, of arbitrary shape, is placed in digital video using computer-based video processing techniques. The virtual tripwire is then monitored, again using computer-based video processing techniques. As a result of the monitoring, statistics may be compiled, intrusions detected, events recorded, responses triggered, etc. For example, in one embodiment of the invention, the event of a person crossing a virtual tripwire in one direction may trigger the capture of a snapshot of that person, for future identification."
    • From 6696945 on the topics of calibration, both manual and automatic: "System calibration may be performed, generally speaking, by either explicit calibration, in which the system is told (or automatically determines) the necessary calibration parameters of sensing device 1, or by implicit calibration, in which the system is told (or automatically determines) the size of an object of interest at various locations in the field-of-view of sensing device."
    • From 7613324 on applications of detecting changes in posture, "Automatic, real-time detection and alerting in case of a person falling or getting up can be advantageous in a wide variety of situations. Such detection and alerting may enable dispatching help quickly and automatically in places like malls, stores, parking lots, assisted living communities, hospitals, or during duress monitoring in law enforcement. An alert may even be a life saver in the homes of elderly or sick people living alone, who may not be able to get up and ask for help after falling."
    • From 7868912 on the use of video primitives, "Event discriminators are identified with one or more objects (whose descriptions are based on video primitives), along with one or more optional spatial attributes, and/or one or more optional temporal attributes. For example, an operator can define an event discriminator (called a "loitering" event in this example) as a "person" object in the "automatic teller machine" space for "longer than 15 minutes" and "between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m." Event discriminators can be combined with modified Boolean operators to form more complex queries."

    The claims made are very broad and could easily apply to most video analytic systems, especially if Courts hold up 'automatic calibration' and the use of video primitives (essentially setting up rules).

    OV's legal compliant [link no longer available] calls out the following specific violations:

    • Bosch's IVA 4.0 running on a variety of Bosch cameras and encoders, specifically cites Bosch's use of calibration, the setup of virtual tripwires and the ability to detect a change in aspect ratio of a human target
    • Samsung cameras cited as violating OV patents include SNB-5000 [link no longer available], SNB-3000 [link no longer available], SNV-3080, SNV-5010, etc., specifically cites Samsung's use of calibration, the setup of virtual tripwires
    • Sony DEPA cameras including a long list of Sony network cameras, specifically cites Sony's use of calibration, the setup of virtual tripwires

    Monetary Damages?

    As for monetary damages, this will be especially interesting. None of the 3 companies being sued have likely generated much direct revenue from video analytics. Samsung and Sony essentially give their analytics away for free while Bosch charge less than $200 MSRP per camera for theirs. Beyond that, our sources indicate that analytic usage on products from all 3 manufacturers remains quite low.

    Are Other Analytic Companies at Risk?

    We spoke to a number of analytic companies who believe, for one reason or another, that their analytics will not be impacted (though none were daring enough to go on the record for this). Even if they did, since Patent Law is so unclear, it would be difficult to have a high level of confidence.

    Overall, we assume the risk for users is fairly low. The worse case scenario would be that providers would have to pay moderate damages and ongoing fees for OV patents applicable to the analytics sold.

    We have no idea how far OV can or wants to take this. Even the amount of resources they have is questionable. It could be more than $20 Million but some (a lot?) of the new round could have went to paying off existing investors or accumulated debt. OV has been so wildly wrong for so long on their OEM play that it is hard to even project a rationale plan to their moves.

15 reports cite this report:

Video Surveillance History on May 06, 2020
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going...
Axis Wins, Avigilon Tripwire Patent Annulled on Feb 06, 2019
For approaching a decade, the fundamental Object Video tripwire patent has...
US DARPA Investing $2 Billion In AI on Sep 11, 2018
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is granting more...
Manufacturers: Get Paying or Get Sued - Avigilon Patent Licensing Program on Jul 29, 2015
The new Avigilon 'patent licensing program' is starting to roll out,...
Avigilon Acquires All ObjectVideo Patents for $80 Million USD on Dec 18, 2014
Wow. You thought Object Video played hardball suing large manufacturers like...
US ITC to Investigate Object Video Charges on Jul 27, 2011
On July 27th, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) announced it...
Samsung Responds to OV's Lawsuit on Jul 17, 2011
Samsung has filed a legal response to ObjectVideo's lawsuit, becoming the...
Can ObjectVideo Block Bosch, Samsung and Sony Cameras from the US? on Jun 29, 2011
ObjectVideo has expanded its patent litigation campaign to the US...
ObjectVideo Responds to Sony's Counterclaim on Jun 21, 2011
In May 2011, Sony filed a counterclaim against ObjectVideo's April 2011...
2011 Mid Year Video Surveillance Review on Jun 11, 2011
The first half of 2011 featured a number of important shifts within the video...
ObjectVideo / Mirasys Patent Agreement Examined on May 15, 2011
European manufacturer Mirasys is the first surveillance company to publicly...
Poll Results and Webinar Recorded Video on Apr 20, 2011
On April 20th, nearly 100 IPVM Pro Members participated in a webinar...
ADT Sued: Remote Monitoring Patent Lawsuit on Apr 14, 2011
A powerful IP licensing firm has sued ADT and a number of remote monitoring...
Winners and Losers Spring 2011 on Apr 12, 2011
Now that the dust has settled from the numerous new announcements of the last...
New Surveillance Products Spring 2011 Final on Apr 06, 2011
In this report, we provide a single source listing new video surveillance...
Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

NetPosa's Terrible Situation Worsens on May 19, 2020
NetPosa is fighting for its existence as the situation worsens for what was...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
Hikvision Global Revenue Falls, Hit By Coronavirus on Apr 27, 2020
Hikvision's global revenue fell in the first quarter of 2020 due to the...
Faulty Hikvision Cali Colombia Fever Camera Implementation on Jul 20, 2020
The mayor of one of Colombia's largest cities has promoted a faulty Hikvision...
Coronavirus Hits Manufacturers, Standing Now, Worse To Come on Apr 06, 2020
Coronavirus is hitting security manufacturers, though overall modestly for...
Verkada Falsely Claims "First Native Cloud-based Access Control and Video Security Solution" on Jun 18, 2020
Verkada's false claims continue, this time to be the first native cloud-based...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop,...
Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera Recommendation on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts,...
South Korea Bus Outdoor Temperature Screening Endangers Public on Aug 26, 2020
These $80,000+ South Korea bus stations have gained world-wide attention but...
Dahua Revenue Plunges, 3 Execs Resign Q1 2020 on Apr 29, 2020
Dahua's sales dropped by 19.47% in the first quarter of 2020 amid the...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
Vape Detection Legal Battle: Soter Sues IPVideo Corp on Jul 22, 2020
The crosstown vape detection rivals are now in a legal battle. While IPVideo...
Worsen: Integrators Hit Even Harder By Coronavirus on Mar 30, 2020
Integrator's problems have worsened over the past 2 weeks, according to new...
YOLOv5 Released Amidst Controversy on Jul 27, 2020
YOLO has gained significant attention within video surveillance for its...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Screening Marketing In Africa on Sep 15, 2020
A multi-national African Hikvision distributor is marketing dangerously...

Recent Reports

FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Avigilon Elevated Temperature Detection Camera Tested on Sep 17, 2020
Avigilon has entered the temperature screening market with the release of...
Chilean Official Investigated for Motorola And Hikvision Contracts on Sep 17, 2020
A corruption investigation is underway in Chile after a crime prevention...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...
X.Labs Sues FLIR on Sep 16, 2020
X.Labs, the maker of Feevr, has sued FLIR, the publicly traded thermal...
Video Surveillance 101 September Course - Last Chance on Sep 16, 2020
Today is the last chance to sign up for the Fall Video Surveillance 101...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
Startup Cawamo Presents Live Alerts With Edge AI and Cloud VMS on Sep 15, 2020
Cawamo, an Israeli edge-to-cloud analytics and VMS startup, presented its...