APPLE Targets RED over Raw Patent Dispute

APPLE Targets RED in Patent Dispute
Following JinniTech's strategy, Apple is likely to use the same arguments pertaining to Raw patents

One thing I hate about the great amount of technology that has exploded on our scene in the last 15 years, is that litigation usually walks hand in hand with innovation.

And all too often, it's Apple that's in the center of it.

So when the news broke today that Apple was suing RED and requesting that the courts invalidate their patents over ProRes RAW, was anyone really that surprised?  And the interesting part is, it may not have happened without the chaos caused by JinniTech's Jihad over RED's proprietary technology status.

The news broke over at EOSHD, which looks to have gotten ahold of the lawsuit filed in Federal Court by Apple's lawyers against RED. In the lawsuit, Apple states that it had engaged the services of British imaging scientist Cliff Reader, to demonstrate that RED's Raw patent protection claim was indeed "unpatentable" and that U.S. Patent No. 9,245,314 should be invalidated.

“Petitioner, Apple Inc., respectfully requests that these claims be canceled”, followed by an overview of the key ‘314 patent. Under chapter VI. “CLAIM CONSTRUCTION”, the following aspects of the patent are dissected by Mr Reader. “Raw Mosaiced Image Data”. “Demosaiced Motion Video Data”. “Substantially Visually Lossless”. And the memory device “sufficiently large to store image data from the compression module”.

More to the point, the lawsuit seems to be centered on using Raw for a video camera with at least 6:1 compression for 2K or 4K resolution, which is in the compression ballpark for RedCode Raw. On top of that, the speculation is that RED was leaning on Apple to play ball and pay RED a royalty to use it on any Cinema grade camera. Apple didn't like it, and RED threatened legal action.

That started brewing last March, apparently. But then JinniTech's expose about RED's patents being based on questionable science and misdirection came to light. In their YouTube series on "Things you didn't know about RED," Jinni Tech used provocative terms like "thieves," and "scams" pertaining to their RED Mini-Mag being protected under their patents, even though the MiniMag used off the shelf components. 

We wrote about it here, and my take was that Jinni was more about justifying the selling of their own MiniMags, in violation of RED's IP, than it was about the veracity of Jinni's claims. JinniTech even used cleverly disguised facts to make it look like a RED camera would take any third party MiniMag. But in reality, that isn't true, as a RED camera will verify a MiniMag before it actually will write to it.

RED Fire Chief Jarred Land defended the use said components, admitting some parts weren't made in the USA, as advertised. But then ended up lowering the price of their MiniMags as a result. RED is currently suing Jinni Tech for patent violations. At the end of the day, both sides have plenty to defend here, and users are in the middle.

With that history in play, it seems like Apple may see an opportunity here for using the same tactic in order to get the courts to invalidate RED's patent protection. And if that happens, would Sony be of the mind to revisit their court battle over the same Raw issue back in 2013?

It's all speculation until the lawsuit goes public, but if you connect the dots, that could be what's at the heart of this legal strategy. Only time will tell.      

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Your Comment


But will the outcome of this give my footage that cinematic look?

August 15, 2019 at 5:48PM


Camera manufactures will be able to shoot compressed raw without the fear of being sued by red. Black magic just got rid of cdng due to patent issues.

August 15, 2019 at 11:14PM

cee dee

Yes totally. Just pop down your local lawyer and have them draw up a "Cinematic Only Clause" in every job you do and voila . . . you've just gone . . . cinematic.

August 16, 2019 at 10:06AM

Jonathon Sendall

Red did not invent the the tech of compressed still images. But somehow they feel entitled to patent compressed still images if recorded sequentially. I hope they lose this patent.

August 15, 2019 at 11:04PM, Edited August 15, 11:12PM

cee dee

Do your homework. This is nothing more than SOP. Sensational journalism. BS and useless to filmmakers.

August 15, 2019 at 11:46PM, Edited August 15, 11:46PM

Andrew Lewis

"JinniTech even used cleverly disguised facts to make it look like a RED camera would take any third party MiniMag. But in reality, that isn't true, as a RED camera will verify a MiniMag before it actually will write to it"

Yes, but verify that it's RED's chosen bottom-tier SSD out of China, and not some other virtually indistinguishable SSD. There is nothing else than to the verification than that.

August 16, 2019 at 4:07AM, Edited August 16, 4:07AM


This is interesting news. I have done some study of this topic and people simply do not understand how much liability we as an industry are exposed to due to this behaviour.

Yes, this patent is far an over reach. Like patenting the wheel on a truck. Any truck some one then wants to build that size or bigger is locked out. They all need wheels.

This red patent has bastardised Bayer based codec costing us a fortune in complexity and extra cost. (Everyone has to make custom codec lib and integrate them into all our tools. The cost is astonishing) Red has used the patent to hamstring competition. There is a reason there is no open codec in this area. Red goes after them.

The world, in general and especially in the internet tech area, has been completely overtaken by open source software. For good reason. The academy has also started a initiative to specifically promote this and to try to speak to the industry to stop supporting this red type behaviour..

So yes. I hope red is put in it's place and the bad PR like the red mag generated will build ever higher..


August 22, 2019 at 2:20PM

James Gardiner

Firstly, I love the RED cameras, it just love the pictures I get. OK.
I get it now. The sole reason for RED to keep this patent is for their own survival.

Many can make a camera, but only one company can record that raw directly inside the camera, and that makes them stand out from the rest. If they loose that, then they will be just another camera manufacturer. And then they don't have any more "we are better" arguments.

September 24, 2019 at 11:38AM


Apple dropped lawsuit.. so Reds bogus patent preventing ur current camera manufacturer from making compressed raw internal or external without paying a license fee to RED must wait.

Jinni may have the answer due to Reds greed w charging $2500 for a $250sdd.

And $3900 for the sdd reader which costs $6.

But jinni. Just youtube his videos shows patent was filed w lies.

It's over a year past date from showing to public and selling product.

You only have 1 year to file patent after disclosing to public. They publicly showed redcode and bragged about it in the forums. They also sold it.

RED loves to sue ppl who speak up
In USA we have freedom of speech.

Red sued EOSHD andre reid.

There gonna have class action lawsuits for bogus made in USA. Deceptive business practices. Fines from ftc and us commerce dept. And sec fines.

May 1, 2020 at 12:20PM