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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

I see via my twitter feed that Red are going after Sony regarding patent infringement with their F65, F55 and F5 cameras. Temporary link below (Mods, please replace with a more appropriate one when it becomes available as the news breaks more).

Camera Makers Red Digital Turn Focus To Sony With Patent Suit - Deadline.com
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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

Yikes! There's going to be more than just a few feathers being knocked out of place if this patent infringement battle goes to court.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

Could be another Apple versus Samsung type thing, i.e. gets ugly. For the record I have no problem companies rightfully protecting their IP (I used to be in R&D developing patented technology in another career) but I wonder if it will delay the imminent introduction by Sony of the F5 and F55 as this situation develops.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

I just reviewed one of patents held by Jim/RED and have some interesting history to pass along;

RED patent 8,358,357 (in English) is basically a video camera that captures and stores to memory video signals that have not been demosaiced, ie. they are still bayer patterned. We know this is true since RED debayers the signal and applies gamma (RED calls it their color science) all in the post process. Most video cameras (up until RED) demosaic the sensor data in-camera and converted the sensor data to RGB signal or YCrBr with codec then record it. Has there ever been any other camera that captured "raw" data off the sensor this way and stored it directly to memory or to computer? Yes there certainly was, but nothing that had really gone mainstream and nothing that was previously patented. RED's patent 8,358,357 makes reference to at least 19 other patents which I haven't read yet, but for Jim to create a new patent he would only need to "invent" something new or improve upon an existing patent.

A DVINFO.net thread is actually referenced in this patent since back in 2004 (2 years before RED One was announced, 3 years before the first RED One shipped) there was a hack for the Panasonic DVX100 eventually called Andromeda. Andromeda was a hack to the DVX100 which allowed the camera to bypass the internal camera codec and provide the sensor data in a 444 12-bit uncompressed stream though a neatly installed jack on the side of the DVX100 camera and later the HVX200. It was developed by Juan P. Pertierra which is documented in its entirety here on DVINFO.net 4-4-4-12-bit-uncompressed-dvx100

Unfortunately for Juan at the time he was not interested in working to capture raw bayer sensor data. In fact his first post on the DVINFO thread ironically stated how "the RAW image is extremely fat...something like 38MB per second at 24fps..." Juan's intensive R&D efforts were much more focused on figuring out how to take the raw sensor data he had and convert it to a RGB 12-bit uncompressed format. From there Juan went on to form a company called "Reel-Stream" which was duly noted for "taking affordable uncompressed HD acquisition to a new level". He had a booth at NAB2007 and even legally trademarked "Andromeda" (for the DVX) and "Hyrda" (for the HVX) modifcations. Reel-Stream seems to have fizzled since then.

Oh, the DVINFO.net thread listed in Jim's patent is to the same one documenting Juan's complete R&D. As most of us older folks may recall from DVINFO, Gramme Nattress (listed on the patent as an inventor along with Jannard) was avid on DVINFO and was working as a video software developer who held extensive knowledge in video signal processing and released several third party post processing filters he developed back in the day.

The relevance of mentioning "23 frames per second" in the patent would be the fact that many DSLR's were already recording RAW images directly off the sensor and storing them to memory. However only as "still images" not as "moving images" or with a "frame rate". Jim specifying at least 23 frames per second in this patent is to establish at the very least a minimum function of capturing sequential raw frames in form of "video".

**Still reading patents...

Last edited by Dennis Hingsberg; February 13th, 2013 at 08:03 PM.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 04:03 PM   #5
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Hingsberg View Post
He had a booth at NAB2007 and even legally trademarked "Andromeda" (for the DVX) and "Hyrda" (for the HVX) modifcations. Reel-Stream seems to have fizzled since then.
That takes me back...... I seem to remember thinking that Hydra was unlikely to ever be very successful. The difference between them was that for the DVX100 the weakest link in the chain was easily the recording codec - so the Andromeda aproach was technically valid. But with the HVX200 (and DVCProHD instead of DV) that wasn't true anymore - the codec was stronger than the chip performance, so Hydra was never realistically going to work.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 03:23 AM   #6
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

I'm not sure what the difference is between an Arri Alexa and these new Sony cameras, other than the Alexa doesn't claim 4k.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 09:17 AM   #7
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

I wish I was smart enough to invent stuff lol. Either way, billionaires fighting billionaires over things I can't afford anyways. Let them have it out and let it get ugly. Maybe it will benefit the general public.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 11:09 AM   #8
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

i guess it's all about modularity of the new f5/55, but this is ridiculous-
"Red is seeking a court order that its patents are “valid and enforceable” as well as an injunction against Sony’s F65, F55 and F5 cameras to stop their further sale and have them destroyed."
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Old February 14th, 2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

I guess having zero form factor and requiring the purchase of support items to use a camera is patentable.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

Ugh, this will get ugly.

But it is only a US patent so AFAIK would only affect import, sales and manufacturing in the US, leaving Sony free to sell the F5/F55/F65 in other areas. I'm sure Sony will counter with their own counter claims, maybe suing RED for using the Sony patented V-Mount on the RED Bricks etc. I believe the V-Mount is a Sony patented design, but currently Sony choose not to prevent others from using the mount as it being an industry standard actually benefits Sony.

This smacks of desperation, not unlike Lite Panels trying to prevent the import of any kind of LED video light into the USA as Lite Panels claim to have an all encompassing patent on the use of LED's in video lights.

I don't think RED can claim to be the first to have a modular camera, think about the old dockable betacams that were modular and had different handle and base plate options. This is more about the claim to have a valid patent on recording compressed bayer data at more than 23fps, but the patent was only issued a week ago, so it would be interesting to know when it was applied for as you can't patent something that's already in the pubic domain.

Does the F65 count in the patent infringement, after all it isn't bayer and the RED patent talks about Bayer sensors.

Sony have patents on the use of bayer pattern sensors in video cameras dating back to 1980, so while RED's use of compressed raw may be novel, I expect Sony could claim that RED are infringing on one of it's patents on the use of a single sensor with a CFA as a counter claim.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #11
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

LitePanels won that suit though... see Litepanels Patent Defense Upheld by International Trade Commission at DV Info Net

Quote:
"Contrary to the substantial amount of misinformation surrounding this case, the General Exclusion Order will not affect... LED lighting used for film, video or photography such as RGB and Remote Phosphor technologies. It simply prohibits the importation into the United States of LED lighting products for film, video or photography that infringe certain claims of the Litepanels patents without the patent holder’s consent.

Of the fourteen (14) companies named in the complaint, all of the major manufacturers have taken the professional route and chosen to license its intellectual property to continue manufacturing LED lighting products for sale in the United States."
(DVi discussion thread on this topic is located at Litepanels Patent)

I wouldn't characterize the LitePanels suit as "desperate;" instead I'd call it quite successful.

The recent Red vs. Arri fight to a draw notwithstanding, my prediction on this one is: settlement.

Any takers on that bet? Also, Alister, will you be at NAB again this year? Looking forward to seeing you!
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Old February 14th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #12
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

Back in the day, there was a company (can't remember who. Might have been CMX, but I'm not sure) that owned a very broad patent related to a computer controlling video systems. When the first companies came out with competing editing systems, the company would sue not only the maker of the gear - but the customers! They got the courts to award the company customer lists from their competitors, had the gear ripped out, and threw it in a landfill!

As one can imagine, the company cornered the market for a limited time. Once the patent expired, they were so hated in the industry that they quickly faded as a broadcast equipment manufacturer. In the '80s, this was part of broadcasting lore.

Moral of the story: You can anger your competition all you want, but don't let your actions harm potential customers.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 02:46 AM   #13
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

The impression I get is that it's about compressed RAW. If this is the case, Cineform RAW (as used by the SI-2K), I seem to recall, was around at the same time as patent dates. Nothing unusual about that happening, there are other instances, but it could explain why Cineform doesn't have the same issue.

It's in the nature of these cases that the end result could affect people in the USA more than anywhere else.

Edit: Just read on RedUser Jim Jannard saying it's a REDCODE Raw issue

http://www.google.com/patents/US8358357

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; February 15th, 2013 at 07:51 AM.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #14
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

This is all about REDCODE Raw, the fact that data directly off the sensor is compressed in its raw form and then stored to memory devices all in one box as a "video camera".

Hopefuly Sony is at the very least using a different form of wavelet compression on the raw data.

The Q67 sensor on the F65 could be exempt exempt since it is not traditional bayer pattern but it depends what the patent describes specifically.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 04:15 PM   #15
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Re: Red Sues Sony - Regarding F5 and F55 Patent Infringments

One would think a big company like Sony would have the sense to make sure all was legit with its product before investing millions in a roll-out. But then again, big companies have done seemingly stupid things before.
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