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Phosita IP Blog

RUMORS OF THE ANTICIPATED XBOX 720 INCORPORATING A DVR SYSTEM COME IN THE MIDST OF A SWIRL OF LITIGATION INVOLVING DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDING TECHNOLOGY.

As reported by Gamezone on January 4, a new rumor has surfaced about the development of the next generation Xbox, or Xbox 720 – a clever twist on the current Xbox 360 title, due to a patent recently granted to Microsoft. 

United States Patent No. 8,083,593 was issued on December 27, 2011, and describes the implementation of a DVR system allowing for the recording of media, including television programs. The following abstract briefly describes the DVR application as implemented in the new system:

                “An integrated gaming and media experience is disclosed, including recording of content on a gaming console. A digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component allows users to record media content on the gaming console. The DVR application also integrates itself with the console menu. Once integrated, users can record media content while playing games. Alternatively, users can record content when the gaming console is turned off. The recorded content can include television programming, gaming experience (whether local or online), music, DVDs, and so on. When in the recording state, users can also switch between various other media modes, whether gaming, television, and so on.”

Although the new Xbox 720 sounds pretty cool, this patent gives rise to yet another issue in the current controversy between Microsoft and TiVo regarding digital video recorder (DVR) technology. As you may have heard, Microsoft filed a lawsuit back in January 2011 and in subsequent motions alleged that TiVo violated seven of Microsoft’s patents concerning digital video recording.  There is currently, however, a stay on the case due to the court’s having granted TiVo’s request for reexamination of the allegedly infringing patents. See Microsoft Corp. v. Tivo Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52619 (N.D. Cal., May 6, 2011).

What really makes this interesting is that AT&T (one of Microsoft’s major customers) was sued in 2009 for infringing TiVo’s DVR patents 6,233,389, 7,493,015, and 7,529,465 which ultimately resulted in a settlement on January 3, 2012.  Forbes reports that TiVo will receive approximately $215 million from AT&T with $51 million up front and recurring quarterly payments until 2018 to cover the rest. To add to the controversy, it has been suggested that Microsoft filed its suit in January 2011 in response to TiVo’s suit against AT&T because AT&T’s technology runs Microsoft’s Mediaroom client software. Thus, it raises the question that since AT&T settled and AT&T’s technology uses Microsoft’s technology, is it still feasible that Microsoft could win its suit against TiVo and be able to defend against TiVo’s counterclaim of patent infringement? Although I have not researched in depth the patents at issue in these cases, the settlement by AT&T, if anything, might shed some light on how Microsoft’s case will unfold once reexamination is complete.
Now back to the important stuff: video games. In light of all this litigation surrounding DVR technology, it seems like the video game community might have to wait even longer than the 2013-2015 projected release date of the Xbox 720 so that Microsoft can incorporate the rumored DVR feature without the risk of impending litigation. If Microsoft ends up winning the suit against TiVo before then, however, I, for one, hope that Microsoft passes some of the winnings on to the consumer in the form of discounted prices for the new system.

 Image by Fanchile on Flickr Creative Commons- some rights reserved.

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DC On Film Row

About DC on Film Row

DC on Film Row is a free event space open to everyone in our community.

We like to say that the space is a “home for creatives and innovators, home builders and the homeless, celebrators and the celebrated” so people understand that we are inclusive and want everyone from throughout our community using our space.

Our goal is to celebrate the incredible diversity of creativity, innovation, and passion within Oklahoma City and to provide a venue—free of charge—to those groups and individuals working to bind us all together and make our home a cooler and better place. No strings attached—no extensive rules to follow. We simply ask that all of our neighbors be honored and that all viewpoints be respected. Our criteria for use is simple: If the event, group, or meeting is something which strengthens our community and brings us all together, the space is available for use.

The space has hosted everything from charitable fundraisers to an underground nightclub party to celebrate Canterbury Choral Society’s 45th anniversary season. We host dinners for the OKC homeless population most Monday evenings where upwards of 250 people are served—we provide the space and soft drinks and a local church provides the food. We’ve hosted university planning retreats and monthly local rock concerts.

Every Wednesday, we open up the courtyard for lunch, invite a local food truck to set up outside our gates, and welcome our downtown neighbors into the space for a bit of socialization.

Our never-ending soda fountain seems to be the biggest hit with some of our neighbors while others spend time playing pool or simply chatting about what is happening on the weekend.

For October we turn the space into a haunted house and invite the neighborhood children to come out and trick-or-treat.

Got an idea for how to use the space? Just ask us – we’re almost certain to say yes!

Dunlap Codding Represents Pictometry International in Precedent Setting Case

Dunlap Codding Represents Pictometry International in Precedent Setting Case

Dunlap Codding congratulates its client Pictometry International Corp., the leader in geo-referenced aerial image capture and visual-centric data analytics, on its recent victory before the Connecticut Supreme Court in Pictometry International Corporation v. Freedom of Information Commission et al. (SC 18724) (January 29, 2013).

The precedent-setting unanimous decision handed down by the Connecticut Supreme Court was officially released on January 29. Pictometry was represented by Dunlap Codding attorneys Joseph P. Titterington, who presented oral arguments before the Court, and Emily E. Campbell.

This case is the first in the nation to examine the interplay between a citizen’s access to public records and the limitations placed upon such access by federal copyright law.  Issues of first impression include: (1) whether Connecticut’s FOIA is preempted by the federal Copyright Act to the extent that FOIA permits the copying and distribution of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright owner, and (2) whether the “fair use” doctrine may be applied to allow copying and distribution of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright owner.   

As a result of this case, copyright holders may license their intellectual property to governmental agencies knowing that their federal intellectual property rights supersede the copying and distribution requirements of FOIA.  “Citizen access to copyrighted materials is unimpeded by the Court’s ruling and is consistent with Pictometry’s long-standing efforts to help governmental agencies be more efficient and transparent in their use of copyrighted technologies,” according to Pictometry’s counsel, Joseph Titterington.

The case also makes clear that the agencies do not need to bear extraordinary costs in providing information—those costs can and rightly should be passed along to the parties requesting the information.

Chris Barrow, Pictometry’s President and CEO, said, “We are happy that the Connecticut Supreme Court reached this decision protecting our intellectual property. This decision encourages companies that hold intellectual property to continue to do business with state agencies, as they know the value of their assets will be preserved.”

Background of the Case

Pictometry had contracted with the Connecticut Department of Information Technology (DOIT) to provide a license to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the use of certain of Pictometry’s computerized aerial photographic images and geo-referenced data of the state of Connecticut.

In the recently decided case, the Connecticut Supreme Court construed the state’s FOIA and held that in the event of a conflict between state law and the federal Copyright Act, the Copyright Act prevails.

Specifically, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that: 

  1. Pictometry’s software is protected by copyright and that it and the geo-referenced metadata associated with each image are also trade secrets, thereby exempting the software and metadata from the disclosure and copying requirements of the Connecticut FOIA.
  2. The federal Copyright Act is a “federal law” under the Connecticut FOIA and exempts public records that consist of copyrighted materials from the copying requirements, but not the disclosure requirements of Connecticut FOIA.
  3. Neither the state Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC) nor a state court may consider whether the “fair use” exemption under the federal Copyright Act permits a third party to obtain copies of copyrighted materials of a state vendor.
  4. Since the underlying agreement between Pictometry, as licensor, and the Connecticut Department of Information Technology, as licensee, permits certain state agencies to provide copies of the copyrighted images to a requesting party, conditioned upon the payment of an image license fee by the state agency to Pictometry, that license fee may be passed on to the requesting party by the state agency. 

These cases were heard by the Connecticut Supreme Court on appeal from a series of decisions originally stemming from a proceeding initiated by Stephen Whitaker before the state’s FOIC.

Under the state’s FOIA, Whitaker sought to obtain copies of Pictometry’s images, metadata, and software which had been licensed to a number of Connecticut state agencies by Pictometry.  After being denied copies of Pictometry’s images, metadata, and software, Whitaker appealed to the FOIC. Following an evidentiary hearing, the FOIC denied the request for the software and metadata, holding they were exempt from disclosure and copying requirement of FOIA as trade secrets of Pictometry.  While upholding Pictometry’s claim that the images were copyrighted, however, the FOIC ordered the images to be reproduced for Whitaker at a nominal fee, finding that the Copyright Act did not provide an exemption from copying.  Pictometry appealed the FOIC’s ruling to the state superior court, which in 2010 upheld the FOIC’s decision.  Pictometry subsequently appealed (July 2010) the court’s ruling to the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the latter court has now decided in Pictometry’s favor.

About Pictometry

Since inventing geo-referenced aerial oblique imaging in 2000, Pictometry International has defined the global standard for visual-centric data analytics, integration and reporting. Professionals across government agencies and commercial market segments use Pictometry’s patented technologies daily, overlaying GIS data and integrating existing systems to enhance productivity, gain unique insights, and change lives. With over 35 million images added annually to its cloud-accessible servers, the company’s unparalleled library now contains more than 210 million images–each mapped to the individual pixel. To learn more, visit pictometry.com or follow @Pictometry.

About Dunlap Codding

Dunlap Codding is an Oklahoma City-based law firm serving regional, national, and international clients. Established in 1957 as Oklahoma’s original intellectual property firm, Dunlap Codding remains the state’s largest and most versatile IP boutique, representing a substantial number of sophisticated client companies in all areas of intellectual property, including litigation.  

Dunlap Codding Ranked in Band 1 for Intellectual Property by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – June 4, 2013 – Dunlap Codding is pleased to be ranked in Band 1 (the top band) for intellectual property by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. The publication is widely regarded as the most reliable and intensively researched of all lawyer rating directories. Chambers USA began ranking Oklahoma Intellectual Property firms in 2010. Dunlap Codding has been a top-ranked firm since the inaugural coverage of the state’s intellectual property practitioners, and is again ranked in Band 1 for 2013. Additionally, each of the firm’s shareholders is listed in the top band.  The firm is the only firm in the United States ranked in band 1 with each of its shareholders or partners also ranked in the top-most band for intellectual property.

Chambers quotes a source as saying, “They were outstanding—they contributed to improving the patent and never dropped the ball.”  Sources quoted in the publication in 2012 said, “The attorneys at Dunlap Codding really try to understand the objectives and the needs of our company and use them to form their advice.” Chambers describes the firm as  “[receiving] high praise from clients spanning a number of industries, including mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering, oil and gas, and healthcare. The group comes highly recommended for its patent prosecution work, and has a growing soft IP practice, particularly involving the music and film sectors. The firm also boasts a convincing litigation bench. Key clients include the University of Oklahoma, the University of Central Florida and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.”  Dunlap Codding’s clients also include Access Midstream Partners, Ashland, Inc., DePuy Synthes, Pictometry International Corp., and Schlumberger.

Dunlap Codding P.C. is an Oklahoma City-based law firm serving regional, national, and international clients. Established in 1957 as Oklahoma’s original intellectual property firm, Dunlap Codding remains the state’s largest and most versatile IP boutique. Dunlap Codding represents a substantial number of sophisticated client companies, and for the past 50 years has obtained more patents, trademarks, and copyrights than any other firm in the region.

Dunlap Codding is a member of Primerus, an International Society of Law Firms.