Red sues Nikon for allegedly infringing video patents
Red Digital Camera LLC is suing yet another manufacturer and seeking damages and/or royalties for alleged infringements. After previously filing lawsuits against Kinefinity, Sony and Nokia over similar feuds, Red is once again relaxing its claim to compressed internal RAW recording features.
This time Nikon is in the hot seat, accused by Red of illegally copying its data compression technology using intoPIX’s TicoRAW format, which was implemented by Nikon in the latest firmware update 2.0 for the Nikon Z9. (opens in a new tab).
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The lawsuit was filed on May 25, 2022, and Red seeks damages or royalties as well as an injunction to restrain Nikon from further infringing. Claim claims Nikon infringed its video compression patent (opens in a new tab) thanks to the capabilities recently introduced in its new flagship camera.
Filed in federal court in Southern California, the lawsuit filed (opens in a new tab) suggests that the Japanese camera maker, along with its American subsidiaries, have illegally infringed on seven patents that specifically deal with a “video camera that can be configured to highly compress video data in a visually lossless manner”.
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With the 2.0 firmware update, the Nikon Z9 can now capture 8.3K RAW video footage at up to 60 frames per second in Nikon’s new format called N-RAW. The Z9 can now additionally record up to 4.1K at 60fps using ProRes RAW HQ. With not one, but two internal RAW codecs, this compression technology stems from Nikon’s integration of TicoRAW, a high-performance RAW recording codec developed by intoPIX and announced last December.
The lawsuit sets out several allegations of use of Red’s patents, also known as inventions, with the primary concerns being “Nikon products that practice and/or embody these inventions” as quoted below:
“29. Red is informed and subsequently believes and alleges that Nikon manufactures, uses, imports, offers to sell and/or sells in the United States, and in this judicial district, cameras under the Nikon trademark which violate each of the claimed patents. .
30. Red is informed and subsequently believes and alleges that Nikon’s counterfeit video cameras (the “accused products”) include, but are not limited to, “Z-series mirrorless cameras”, such as ” Nikon Z 9 with firmware 2.0”. »
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The company also accuses Nikon of knowingly committing the infringements, saying it would surely be aware of Red’s prior lawsuits and the fact that its patent notice is listed on its products, packaging and website. The lawsuit further states:
“33. Nikon instructs, teaches, assists and/or encourages others to use, test, assemble, distribute, repair or handle the accused products. For example, it requires users of its Z9 cameras to download manuals related to the Z9 from Nikon’s Download Center then teaches them how to record motion video in N-RAW recording mode.”
The lawsuit also implies that, because Nikon and Red are direct competitors in the video camera market, the company suffered harm in at least the following areas: lost sales and profits, reduced business and damage to its general reputation and to his industry. upright.
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Speculation surrounding the lawsuit suggests it may have been a smartly timed approach on Red’s part, as the TicoRAW feature has been in the news for months, with Red potentially waiting for the codec to be implemented in the device. flagship photo of a competitor before filing a complaint. .
It also doesn’t look like Red is going after intoPIX, which made the TicoRAW format, as that codec is also supposed to be patented – but it seems more bothered that the Z9 records internal RAW using a similar scheme to the one whose Red patented .
Nikon has options here that include fighting the lawsuit in a costly court battle or bowing down and removing the new firmware update’s recording compression feature. However, having already been downloaded and installed by thousands of probable users, the removal process might be next to impossible. Is anyone safe from Red? We’ll update the article when we know more.
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