Contour IP Holding, LLC, the intellectual property arm of the pioneer action camera maker, Contour, celebrated an important victory recently in its ongoing patent enforcement battle with GoPro when the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) rejected GoPro’s attempt to invalidate claims in two of Contour’s patents.
Contour alleges that GoPro’s use of the remote viewfinder feature on nearly all of its cameras infringes Contour’s patents. The feature connects a camera wirelessly to a smartphone or other device and allows the user to see and control what they are recording.
The application for the patents was filed in 2010. In November 2014, the USPTO granted Contour U.S. Patent No. 8,890,954 and U.S. Patent No. 8,896,694.
“This feature was revolutionary when invented by Contour and has become an indispensable feature on all high end action cameras,” James Harrison, Contour CEO explained. “The ability to see what you are recording at the same time as you record in high resolution is not an option for most users, it is a must. We believe that the technology has application beyond action cameras, including functional drone camera devices.”
The technology described in the patents involves a camera using a dual stream recording and transmission process: a higher resolution stream for recording on the camera, while at the same time sending a lower resolution transmission to a separate device, such as a smartphone, to produce a live stream of what is being recorded.
Contour sued GoPro in November 2014 alleging GoPro’s products infringe the two patents. GoPro sought, and obtained from the PTAB an Inter Partes Review of most of the claims in the patents. In two related final decisions, on October 26, 2016 the PTAB rejected GoPro’s challenge, finding that GoPro failed to provide sufficient evidence to invalidate the patent claims.
After requesting the Inter Partes Review of the patents, GoPro obtained a stay of Contour’s pending patent infringement litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. However, the District Court lifted the stay on November 7, 2016 in light of the PTAB’s decisions.
“While we are thrilled with the result, we were never in any doubt. Contour was a pioneer in the action camera market investing millions of dollars in innovative features that are now common-place in action cameras, drones and have potential application in many meaningful emerging technology verticals. We will continue to use all legal avenues to vigorously protect and enforce our intellectual property,” stated James Clarke, CEO of Clarke Capital Partners, the largest shareholder of Contour.
About Contour IP Holding:
Based in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Contour is a pioneer of the action camera market. ‘Firsts’ into the market include: 1080HD; wireless connection to smartphone; GPS enhanced video and instant-on. Contour IP is the owner of the IP that seeks to protect and enforce these technologies.