August 2012

August 29, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Google Inc. was issued a patent on Tuesday covering technology allowing for automatic recognition of large objects in videos without any need for a user’s assistance, pointing the way to possible new online video applications on YouTube or elsewhere.

U.S. Patent Number 8,254,699, titled “Automatic large scale video object recognition,” involves an object recognition system that performs a number of rounds of dimensionality reduction and consistency learning on visual content items such as videos and still images. This results in a set of “feature vectors” that accurately predict the presence of a visual object represented by a given name within a visual content item.

The feature vectors are stored in association with the object name which they represent and with an indication of the number of rounds of dimensionality reduction and consistency learning that produced them. Consistency learning involves comparing a feature vector to other feature vectors, such as those for the same object name, and those for different object names, and calculating a score based on the comparisons.

The feature vectors and the indication can be used for various purposes, such as quickly determining a visual content item containing a visual representation of a given object name, according to the patent description.

“Currently, automated recognition within a digital video of images of real-world objects of interest to a user, such as people, animals, automobiles, consumer products, buildings, and the like, is a difficult problem,” the patent description says. “The use of unsupervised learning techniques, in which the explicit input of human operators is not required to learn to recognize objects, has not yet been achieved for large-scale image recognition systems.”

“Conventional systems rely on direct human input to provide object exemplars explicitly labeled as representing the object, such as a set of images known to include, for example, dogs, based on prior human examination,” the patent description says. “However, such human input is expensive, time-consuming, and cannot scale up to handle very large data sets comprising hundreds of thousands of objects and millions of images.”

This is particularly a problem in the context of video hosting systems, such as Google Video or YouTube, in which users submit millions of videos, each containing numerous distinct visual objects over the length of the video, according to the patent.

Inventors Ming Zhao of San Jose, California and Jay Yagnik of Mountain View, California filed the application for the patent in February 2009.

August 27, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday issued a mixed ruling upholding a $100 million damage award against Verizon Communications Inc. in a patent dispute with ActiveVideo Networks Inc. over video on demand technology.

ActiveVideo asserted U.S. Patent Numbers 5,550,578, 6,205,582, 6,034,678, and 6,100,883 against Verizon at trial, alleging that Verizon’s video on demand feature of the Verizon FiOS-TV system infringed.

The ’578, ’678, and ’883 patents share a common specification and generally disclose and claim interactive television systems and methods for delivering interactive television to subscribers, according to the Federal Circuit.

The ’582 patent generally discloses an interactive television system where the headend processing center includes a frame server component and a plurality of individually assignable processors, which communicate with assigned home interface controllers.

Verizon asserted counterclaims that ActiveVideo infringed U.S. Patent Numbers 6,169,542 and 7,561,214, as well as U.S. Patent Number 6,381,748, which was held invalid by the district court prior to trial. The three Verizon patents generally disclose systems and methods related to interactive television features, including internet access, two-dimensional channel navigation, and advertising.

After a three-week trial, the jury found that the parties infringed each others’ patents and awarded ActiveVideo $115,000,000 and Verizon $16,000 in damages.

After trial, the district court entered a permanent injunction against Verizon, established a sunset royalty for Verizon’s continued infringement until the injunction was to take effect, and denied Verizon’s motions for JMOL or new trial on infringement, damages, and invalidity. Verizon and ActiveVideo then cross appealed to the Federal Circuit.

The Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s judgment of infringement against Verizon as to the ActiveVideo ’582 patent. The appeals court vacated and remanded the district court’s grant of summary judgment of invalidity as to the Verizon ’748 patent.

The district court’s entry of a permanent injunction was reversed, while its imposition of a sunset royalty was affirmed. The district court’s judgment of infringement with respect to the ActiveVideo ’578, ’678, and ’883 patents is affirmed.

The Federal Circuit affirmed the damages award in full, saying Verizon has not argued either before the district court or on appeal that a finding of non-infringement of the ’582 patent should result in a reduction of damages.The district court’s judgment in all other respects was affirmed.

August 22, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday launched a Section 337 investigation into certain wireless consumer electronics devices and components to determine whether devices imported into the U.S. by Amazon.com, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Nintendo Co. and others violate three companies’ patent rights regarding high speed microprocessors.

The products at issue in the investigation are consumer electronic devices with wireless capabilities, such as electronic tablets, smartphones, e-readers, mobile hotspots, broadband wireless modems, and handheld game consoles, the ITC said.

The probe is based on a complaint filed by Technology Properties Ltd. LLC and Phoenix Digital Solutions LLC of Cupertino, California, and Patriot Scientific Corp. of Carlsbad, CA, on July 24. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain wireless consumer electronics devices and components that infringe a patent asserted by the complainants. The three complainants have requested that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

The other companies involved in the investigation include Acer Inc., Barnes & Noble, Garmin Ltd., HTC Corp., Huawei Technologies Co., Kyocera Corp., Novatel Wireless Inc., Sierra Wireless Inc. and ZTE Corp.

The ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case, the Commission said. According to standard procedure for 337 investigations, the ITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the ITC’s six administrative law judges who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337, but that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The patent at issue, U.S. Patent Number 5,809,336, is titled “High performance microprocessor having variable speed system clock.” The microprocessor system includes an integrated circuit having a central processing unit and a ring oscillator variable speed system clock for clocking the microprocessor, according to the patent abstract.

The objective of the invention was to provide a high speed microprocessor with a reduced pin count and cost compared to conventional microprocessors, according to the patent summary.

Inventors Charles H. Moore of Woodside, California, and Russell H. Fish III of Mountain View, California were awarded the patent, which was assigned to Patriot Scientific on September 15, 1998 after filing their application on June 7, 1995.

August 16, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – Although Lululemon Athletica has built a reputation based on the promotion of the peaceful practice of yoga, it recently showed the world that it is ready to fight if necessary. The yoga and athletic apparel manufacturer proved this point when it initiated a lawsuit against clothing giants Calvin Klein and G-III Apparel Group, over the design of its pricey yoga pants. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, accuses both Klein and G-III of infringing on three separate patents related to its high-tech yoga pants. Lululemon is seeking an injunction to prevent further sales of the infringing products, as well as damages from lost profits, a reasonable royalty award, disgorgement of Calvin Klein profits, and court related costs.

In its court documents, Lululemon alleges that Calvin Klein’s “Performance” brand incorporates the same waistband and other design elements as Lululemon’s patented pants. In particular, Lululemon produces an “Astro” line of yoga pants and crop pants with a signature overlapping style waistband. The pants are made from Lululemon’s trademarked Luon fabric and incorporate the unique patented waistband. The waistband in question is v-shaped and formed by angular pieces of cloth that can be rolled so that the pants sit higher or lower on the waist. Lululemon is claiming Calvin Klein produces pants with the same waistline style at a significantly reduced price.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. is based in Vancouver, Canada and was founded in 1998. The brand was created in response to increased female participation in sports and a rise in the popularity of yoga. To extend its support of yoga as a healthful and beneficial practice, every Lululemon Athletica offers free yoga classes. The company offers health benefits and growth opportunities to its employees and customers at store locations. In addition to its elevated standards in business practices, treatment of employees and attention to customer satisfaction, the apparel company has a reputation for making high quality and expensive yoga pants with sophisticated designs and high-tech materials. Additionally, the Vancouver based apparel manufacturer has become well known for its use of unique fabric choices, proprietary blend of signature fabrics, moisture wicking and 4-way stretch material. Lululemon currently holds at least 14 separate U.S. patents for its athletic apparel and specific design elements.

G-III Apparel Group Ltd. was founded in 1956, and has grown into a major designer and manufacturer of outerwear, apparel, sportswear, handbags and luggage. Through a series of licensing agreements, G-III currently produces products under the following brand names: Jones New York, Sean John, Timberland, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, Ellen Tracy, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.

The famous designer with the same name founded Calvin Klein in 1968. Based in the fashion Mecca of New York City, the clothing house was sold to Philips Van Heusen in 2002 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH.

August 8, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – This entry has been moved here