Axis, Sony, Cisco, 11 More Sued

By Carlton Purvis, Published on Mar 13, 2013

Patent lawsuits continue to gain momentum throughout the world and in the surveillance industry. Though most of its suits were dismissed last fall, Puerto Rico-based Canatelo [link no longer available], LCC is back in court again suing more than a dozen surveillance manufacturers for patent infringement. Here's a look at who Canatelo really is, what their new suits are about and an update on the ones still in court. 

New Suits 

In early February, Canatelo filed complaints against 14 companies, including Axis Communications, Toshiba, Canon, Cisco Systems, TrendNet and Sony claiming the companies ripped off its motion detection capabilities. For example, see the complaint against Axis. All complaints make similar claims. 

Canatelo’s complaints say the companies violate a patent on “detecting motion in a video signal; compressing a portion of the video signal that includes the detected motion; and transmitting the compressed portion of the video signal that includes the detected motion as part of an e-mail.”

The Patents

The first patent in question, filed in August 1999 by inventors Luis G. Ramirez Diaz, Pedro Cruz-Burgos and Dan Rodriguez, was for a computer-based video security system designed to capture motion detection and send alerts via email, beeper or phone. It included a feature that would allow users to monitor camera remotely. The patent was issued in November 2002 (U.S. Patent number 6,476,858).

In October 2002 the inventors filed a second patent for computer technology that could read electronic video signals for indications of motion and transmit those alerts through a network connection. That patent was approved in December 2007 (U.S. Patent number 7,310,111)

Essentially, if a surveillance product detects motion and then compresses video, it violates Canatelo's patent, we noted in a post last June

Who Is Canatelo

Canatelo, LLC, formerly called I Care Medical Direct, LLC, is a “biomedical products distributor” based just outside of San Juan, according to documents filed with the Puerto Rico State Department. Here's an excerpt:

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

The address we found in state documents is a unit in a hi-rise condo on the beach -- Condominio Plaza Del Condado -- however, a receptionist at Del Condado said that unit didn't exist. 

"We have a 1401, 1402, 1403 on the fourteenth floor, but no unit 14," she said. 

Repeated messages left for the company through its lawyers have not been returned. 

Despite there being little information about the company available online, (the domain name Canatelo.com was created two months prior to the first litigation with registration details hidden) Canatelo has been very active in the courts.  

Update on Old Suits 

In June, Canatelo sued Avigilon, Hikvision, Vivotek, UTC/Interlogix, and Nuvico saying the companies infringed on a patent on motion detection capability. It sued Office Max for carrying the “infringing” cameras.

All but two of the cases were dismissed "with prejudice" by the fall. This type of dismissal usually means a plaintiff failed to support its claims with evidence and that a plaintiff can't re-file the case. In at least one of the cases, an undisclosed settlement was involved in the dismissal. 

 “Our client settled the case. The lawsuit was dismissed as a result of the settlement agreement,” was the word from Vivotek counsel, who would not disclose the details of the agreement.  

Open Cases - Avigilon, Nuvico

The cases that remain open are Canatelo’s case against Avigilon (which it amended last month at the same time it filed complaint against the 14 other companies) and its case against Nuvico (which has been held up by motions to file/translate parts of the case in Spanish). 

Avigilon declined to comment on pending litigation, but in a motion to dismiss the case last September, Avigilon said it did not know about the patents until Canatelo filed a complaint so it "could not have possessed an intent to cause someone else to infringe the patents." 

IPVM Analysis

We suspect Canatelo will have a hard time winning. Their broad, generally applicable, patent was filed in October 2002, fairly late compared to the development of early IP cameras. Moreover, unless Canatelo has far deeper pockets then we can find so far, unlike ObjectVideo, they may not be able to fund the multi-million dollar legal campaign necessary in such a contest.

Comments (2) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

JCI Sues Genetec For Patent Infringement on Jul 13, 2020
Surprisingly, security giant JCI has sued their partner, security software...
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...
Axis / Avigilon Patent Litigation Ends With 3 Invalidated Patents on Sep 09, 2020
The multi-year, multi-district patent litigation between Canon and Axis...
Clearview AI Alarm - NY Times Report Says "Might End Privacy" on Jan 20, 2020
Over the weekend, the NY Times released a report titled "The Secretive...
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...
FLIR Suspends Agreement With Feevr on May 07, 2020
Thermal manufacturer FLIR has suspended its agreement with Feevr (aka...
FLIR Cancelling Contract With X.Labs / Feevr on May 20, 2020
While X.Labs announced the signing of a new agreement with FLIR on May 12,...
Chile Cancels 1,000 Camera Hikvision Project on Oct 12, 2020
Six months ago, Chile awarded a 1,000-camera project using Hikvision. The...
Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Anixter Runs Fake Coronavirus Marketing Using Shutterstock Watermarked Images on Jul 24, 2020
Coronavirus faked marketing is regrettably commonplace right now but Anixter...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020,...
Sunell Panda Cam Body Temperature Measurement Camera Tested on May 14, 2020
Sunell is far less well known than its gargantuan domestic competitors Dahua...
FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities...
Startup Videoloft Presents Cloud Storage on May 27, 2020
Videoloft presented offsite cloud storage at the May 2020 IPVM Startups...
Favorite Access Control Credentials 2020 on Sep 15, 2020
Credential choice is more debated than ever, with hacking risk for 125kHz and...

Recent Reports

Bedside Cough and Sneeze Detector (Sound Intelligence and CLB) on Oct 28, 2020
Coronavirus has increased interest in detecting symptoms such as fever and...
Fever Tablet Thermal Sensors Examined (Melexis) on Oct 28, 2020
Fever tablet suppliers heavily rely on the accuracy and specs of...
Verkada Fires 3 on Oct 28, 2020
Verkada has fired three employees over an incident where female colleagues...
Recruiters Online Show LIVE Thursday! on Oct 27, 2020
IPVM's 7th online show resumes Thursday with 12 recruiters presenting...
Eagle Eye Networks Raises $40 Million on Oct 27, 2020
Eagle Eye has raised $40 million aiming to "reinvent video...
Hikvision Q3 2020 Global Revenue Rises, US Revenue Falls on Oct 27, 2020
While Hikvision's global revenue rises driven by domestic recovery, its US...
VICE Investigates Verkada's Harassing "RawVerkadawgz" on Oct 26, 2020
This month, IPVM investigated Verkada's sexism, discrimination, and cultural...
Six Flags' FDA Violating Outdoor Dahua Fever Cameras on Oct 26, 2020
As Six Flags scrambled to reopen parks amid plummeting revenues caused by the...
ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...