sent over the news that Intellectual Ventures continues to ramp up its litigation efforts, with the latest target being camera maker Nikon, who has been sued for infringing on four patents
. While I was just recently complaining about the lemon of a camera that Nikon sold me a year ago (and they'll never get another dime of money from me because of their response to the problems with their own camera), I'd never wish a patent lawsuit on anyone, even a company I can't stand. Intellectual Ventures claims that it had to make this move, because Nikon refused their offers to "take a license." Shakedowns sound so much nicer when you describe them as "taking a license." As for the patents in question:
- 6,181,836: “Method and system for non-destructive image editing” by Delean and assigned to MGI Software Corporation. Prosecuted by Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor & Zafman. Includes 16 claims (4 indep.). Was application 08/933,798. Filed 9/19/1997 & Granted 1/30/2001.
- 6,121,960: “Touch screen systems and methods” by Carroll et. al. and assigned to ViA, Inc.. Prosecuted by Patterson, Thuente & Skaar, P.A.. Includes 30 claims (3 indep.). Was application 08/919,527. Filed 8/28/1997 & Granted 9/19/2000.
- 6,979,587: “Image sensor and method for fabricating the same” by Lee and assigned to Hynix Semiconductor Inc.. Prosecuted by Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP. Includes 10 claims (4 indep.). Was application 10/330,287. Filed 12/30/2002 & Granted 12/27/2005.
- 6,221,686: “Method of making a semiconductor image sensor” by Drowley et. al. and assigned to Motorola, Inc.. Prosecuted by Huffman; A. Kate. Includes 34 claims (4 indep.). Was application 09/493,366. Filed 1/28/2000 & Granted 4/24/2001.
- 7,733,368: “Virtual reality camera” by Teo. Prosecuted by Perkins Coie LLP. Includes 22 claims (4 indep.). Was application 11/935,344. Filed 11/5/2007 & Granted 6/8/2010.
Yup. It looks like IV is simply trying to make sure that anyone who does anything
must infringe on one of their patents, and has to pay up.