Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paramount, FastVDO Settle Suit over Image Processing Techniques

Case Filed: Nov 09, 2012
Case Closed: Jul 21, 2014
Judge: Sue L. Robinson
Court: Delaware District Court
Case Summary:
Cocoa Beach, Florida-based FastVDO specializing in image processing and video compression technologies filed a patent infringement suit against Paramount Pictures. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Paramount engages in production and distribution of films and is a subsidiary of US media conglomerate Viacom. The suit alleged that the latter committed infringement in the Delaware District by performing methods claimed in FastVDO’s patent and demanded a jury trial.
The film distributor was accused of infringing a re-issue patent RE40081 entitled ‘Fast signal transforms with lifting steps,’ issued by UPSTO on Feb 19, 2008 and expiring[i] by Dec 16, 2018. The patent is currently assigned[ii] to FastVDO (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). The ‘081 patent enables digital video compression through coding and decoding digital image intensities with a block coder and transform coder that utilizes an invertible linear transform having a +/- butterfly step, a lifting step and a scaling factor.
FastVDO’s technology incorporates the International Telecommunications Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) H.264 (aka MPEG-4 Part 10, Audio Video Coding (AVC)), a video compression standard used to perform digital image compression.
As in Complaint:
Paramount infringed one or more claims of the ‘081 patent by making, using, importing, selling, or offering to sell products or services that encode video using an H.264 or VC-1 codec. The complaint stated that Paramount had knowledge of the ‘081 patent since 2012. The complaint cited movies including Star Trek, Transformers, Saving Private Ryan, Iron Man 2, Braveheart and The Godfather Collection stating that Paramount (directly or indirectly) encoded them to video with an H.264 codec as claimed in the ‘081 patent.
FastVDO and Paramount agreed to settle and compromise FastVDO’s claims against Paramount. Therefore, the court ordered that all FastVDO’s claims against Paramount are dismissed with prejudice, with each party to bearing its own costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees.
See 1:12-cv-01427 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.
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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents. 
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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