February 14, 2013

RED Sues Arri (No One Wins). Now They Have Sights Set on Sony and the F65, F55, and F5 Cameras

A litte over a year ago, there was an email hacking incident involving Arri, Band Pro, and RED; Jannard and RED have since dropped their lawsuit to the best of our understanding, since as of a few days ago that case was agreed to be dismissed by all parties involved (everyone comes out a loser having to pay all legal fees and expenses). Now we have word that a brand new legal suit has appeared against Sony, alleging patent infringement related to their F65, F55, and F5 cameras.

Here is a bit more about the lawsuit thanks to Cinescopophilia:

RED claim Sony’s alleged infringing sales of the F65, F55, and F5 cameras are likely to cause irreparable harm to RED, which can not be compensated by damages. Accordingly RED seeks a preliminarily and permanent injunction enjoining Sony Corporation of America and Sony Electronics Inc from making, using offering to sell, and selling the Sony F65, F55 and F5 cameras.

If successful with its civil case it is alleged RED will seek from Sony Corporation of America and Sony Electronics Inc an amount no less than lost profits or a reasonable royalty, plus Sony Corporation of America and Sony Electronics Inc to offer up all infringing cameras for destruction

Here is the court document alleging infringement:

It is my understanding that a part of the case has to do with RED's RAW compression scheme which they claim Sony is infringing upon -- since the F65, F55, and F5 all record to a compressed RAW codec, unlike the Canon C500 and Arri Alexa which both send out uncompressed RAW signals to third party recorders. Since RED has certain agreements with GoPro's Cineform RAW (which is also based on JPEG2000), that particular situation has avoided any lawsuits by RED.

Lawsuits about patents are nothing new, but the ramifications of the case might be significant. Obviously Sony, being the large corporation that they are, probably wouldn't readily settle on some sort of licensing agreement with RED, but if RED does win, that may be their only choice.

I've stated numerous times that I don't believe the patent system is in good shape, and there are plenty of those that agree with how bad the system actually is (including Mark Cuban). Large companies tend to hold dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of patents against each other, but most of the time they don't utilize them in lawsuits to avoid mutually assured destruction (like your standard issue ICBM).

I'm sure more details will come out, and it will be interesting to see if we get a late-night forum response from Mr. Jannard regarding this whole case.

You can read the actual patents themselves using the link below.

Link: RED Takes Civil Action Against Sony Over Camera Patents -- Cinescopophilia

Your Comment

124 Comments

Oh joe!! Some should have suggested you this by twitter!!! :) Anyway Red is annoying as hell..

February 14, 2013

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Jesus

Yeah at least 10 different people sent this to me but I wasn't sure if I was going to cover it. The ramifications could be significant.

February 14, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

ahahahah don't worry man!!! just joking!! you people do a great job with this site!!! But what Red is doing it's absolutely childish and annoying as hell...

February 14, 2013

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Jesuan

Like no one has done it before, right

February 14, 2013

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Natt

it doesn't make it less annoying...

February 15, 2013

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Jesus

Wow. I wonder what happened with that WOODEN CAMERA suit.

February 14, 2013

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Red is following the path that Apple lead, they start something (not invent it, its different) and when stronger than them enemies arrive at the party, start making desperate efforts not to overtake them with ideas, but with lawyers...

February 14, 2013

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Daniel

Most people that talk about patents unfortunately don't have a clue about the patent system. This seems a typical example. Have you read the Apple or the Red patents? Have you compared them with the available prior art, and came to the conclusion that the subject matter _of the granted claims_ is not based on an inventive step over this prior art? Then please provide your argumentation.

If not, do your homework first. And no. the Apple patents in question are not about a touch screen. Of course, that was invented before. They are about one very specific combination of technical features in relation to touch screens.

Would you like your ideas to be stolen? Is a creative idea developed in the field of technology of less value than a creative idea in the field of cinema?

February 15, 2013

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Thyl Engelhardt

Unfortunately, the reality is just that. Patents get only 20 years of protection, which eventually leads to better products (see Steadicam and its knock-offs). A song, script or movie is protected for almost eternity - upto 70 years after the death of the author, or 100 years for corporations. So, in that sense, society values copyright more than patent right. IMHO, the protection term for copyright should be substantially reduced, just the way it was originally intended when Thomas Jefferson first drafted it: a necessary, but temporary monopoly.

February 15, 2013

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Seems a bit desperate on their part these days lashing out at everyone. Gotta be good odds on them trying to compete with the BMC in some kind of Scarlett package come NAB seeing as they haven't sued them... yet

February 14, 2013

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Chris Lambert

Today I learned: 2 lawsuits in 3 years equals "lashing out at everyone."

February 15, 2013

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Jack Frost

Red sure does make great products at a great price, but they make it difficult as hell for people to respect them as a company when they pull shit like this.

February 14, 2013

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Robert Hardy

You know, I don't think the patent system is healthy, I don't like lawsuits, but the idea that a company can steal from another is not one anybody should be applauding, even if they benefit from it. Our society has devolved to the point where we support and endorse theft, and look down on a company that says they have been stolen from. The idea that if it's technically possible it must be right has permeated our thinking. A company who's business is to sue is one thing but RED actually makes some pretty substantial products that took hundreds of millions of dollars to develop.

What is the appropriate course of action to being robbed?

What should a company due if there work is being stolen?

February 14, 2013

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Raed

Well said and good points, thanks for being coherent Raed

February 14, 2013

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Biz

It doesn't matter if you love RED or hate RED, it is their right to protect their technology and business. I have my own negative opinion of RED, but I still say GO RED!

February 15, 2013

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Razor

That's a strawman.

You're not addressing the question of WHETHER they're being stolen from in the first place. I don't know the patents, but IMO it comes down to whether RED are claiming on the general idea of compressing RAW data, or on a specific implementation. If RED have patented the whole concept of compressing RAW data, screw 'em. You shouldn't be able to patent something so broad. If Sony have, on the other hand, copied RED's implementation of said compression, then yes, that should be protected against.

February 15, 2013

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Luke

Notice it says DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL.

That might be interesting since all the jury will have been Sony users and no doubt none will have heard of Red. That might work in their favour since they wont know what a douche Jannard is.

How about a lawsuit by Red users over the resolution lies of the Red One and cameras that wouldnt even boot up. How hard is it to get a camera to just start!!!

We can put Red in the category of Litepanels no, douchey companys that sue on vague/broad claims and win because the courts dont know any better.

February 14, 2013

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Bravin works for BANDPRO (re-seller, Joe- not ARRI.

February 14, 2013

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Tim

Bravin worked for Band Pro and then moved on to Arri, which is when the hacking occurred, while he was employed at Arri.

"On or about January 19, 2010, in Los Angeles County, California, defendant intentionally accessed the computer used in interstate commerce belonging to Band Pro Film & Digital, Inc. ("Band Pro"), without authorization, and obtained information from that computer. Defendant obtained the user name and password for the Band Pro email account for Amnon Band, President and Chief Executive Officer of Band Pro, during defendant's employment with Band Pro. Defendant resigned from Band Pro in December 2009, and began to work for another company. After resigning from Band Pro, from approximately December 2009, through June 2010, including on January 19, 2010, defendant accessed, without authorization, Amnon Band's email account and thereby read Band's emails. The total loss to Band Pro from defendant's unauthorized accesses totaled at least $5,001."

February 14, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

noone here has any knowledge whatsoever about this case and contents...this post is doomed to become nothing but a happy place for RED haters :)

February 14, 2013

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hansd

Agreed. Sony is either infringing or they are not. Red blieves Sony is, so let them have their day in court.

Regarding the RED v. Arri agreement to dismiss: How does Mr. Marine know "no one wins"? They could have reached a settlment out of court, a term of which was each party's agreeing to enter into the joint stipulation of dismissal. It's possible RED won plenty.

February 14, 2013

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Puncher

Sure, but I'm referring to the case, not a theoretical settlement which may or may not exist. If they settled out of court, good for them, but it's not an admission of guilt either way, so technically there is still no winner in that case - if you're really trying to nitpick.

February 14, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Well said.

February 14, 2013

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Xiong

There was no settlement.

February 14, 2013

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Marklondon

I can't claim otherwise. Still, I'd be curious to know how you know there was no settlement.

February 15, 2013

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Puncher

These corporate thunderstorms happen so frequently now, I hardly give them a second thought. Someone should make a doc about the US patent system right now, though. It's jacked up so bad.

February 14, 2013

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alex

YES!! A documentary should definitely be made.

February 14, 2013

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See my comments above. I think Kirby Ferguson already started doing this (everything is a remix).

February 15, 2013

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But filmed on a Red or Sony ?

February 15, 2013

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Saied

What about suing the Kineraw people for ripping off the Epic entirely?

February 14, 2013

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If the KineRaw camera ever starts detracting from Red's sales, I can guarantee you that Red will sue. That's just how they roll.

February 14, 2013

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Robert Hardy

Only if Kineraw has a US based corporate presence, which I'm not sure they do. Red will ask them to get stopped at customs (it's akin to the US not allowing counterfeit goods to be imported) but to truly sue them, they'd have to go to China. But this post makes a bunch of assumptions which I haven't done the research on.

February 14, 2013

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Charles

At least two of the patents within the case directly reference RAW compression and methods, and how the camera arrives at compressing the data in the first place. The comment about GoPro and Cineform comes directly from Jim Jannard. Otherwise I don't know which assumptions you're referring to.

February 14, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I meant assuming that Kineraw didn't have a legal US corporate presence. Red can't sue a company that only has a foreign presence in a US court I don't think. Kineraw wouldn't show up and wouldn't have any reason to, the US wouldn't be able to seize any assets or anything like that.

February 14, 2013

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Charles

Wow, sorry, totally read that wrong. Right, if Kinefinity is not US based in any way, they could only stop the company from importing into the US if they chose to sue.

February 14, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I now understand why the BMCC and Digital Bolex are using the CinemaDNG open-source codec...

February 14, 2013

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Have to agree with Joe. Nobody wins here except the lawyers. The end users will, as usual, be the ones who suffer the most. Corporation A sues Corporation B and whoever wins, the costs to the consumer always increase. Less competition means higher prices. Massive legal costs means higher prices. Technological monopoly means less innovation. I love RED the camera but hate RED the ethos. Like so many of it's over zealous users this is another bully tactic. To be honest, I kind of hope Sony wins because they are at least developing tech that anyone, no matter what level they are at, can afford.

February 14, 2013

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Neil

Ha ha ...Sony will counter-sue and RED won't know what hit them.

February 14, 2013

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Fred

Sony has a lot more money and legal firepower than RED. Be careful Jannard.

February 15, 2013

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Mark

Sure, anyone can afford F65, good point there buddy

February 14, 2013

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Natt

Have you been away from planet Earth for awhile? Ever heard of the RX100, A99, VG900, FS100, FS700, that a) shoot video and b) are at varied price points (unlike RED where even a bare bones shooting set-up is $8000+). Are those cameras affordable enough for you "buddy"?

February 15, 2013

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Neil

FS100? Seriously the F65 is the camera you think he is referring to when talking about affordable tech?

February 15, 2013

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February 14, 2013

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Hahaha, awesome!!

February 14, 2013

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hansd

what's wrong? I see a $80 SSD in a $650 plastic case....;)

February 14, 2013

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Sid

It's an honorable and quite legal business...separating fools from their money...

February 14, 2013

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Fred

:D:D:D:D

February 14, 2013

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guto novo

lol!!! And they probably get them at super cheap OEM bulk prices. I guess they would say "This is how we recoup development costs". Kind of like when a city says "We will only charge a toll to recoup the cost of building the toll way and then remove the toll charge". I doesn't go away.

February 15, 2013

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Only proves where RED really makes its margin!

February 15, 2013

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Personally I think Red is scarping the barrel in a last attempt to save their products. This year was the year of ‘large sensor cameras’. The next couple of years will see many more 4K cameras turning up. It’s only time before Red may sink, unless they come up with new products; which I think is unlikely as they took many years of promises before a Red eventually turned up on the scene. They appear to be very desperate indeed; just look at the resent price slash.

February 14, 2013

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Pete

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