Yesterday on the net, a story started circulating that Panavision was suing Canon over the use of HD Video from a CMOS Sensor. The rumours started flying that Panavision would no longer rent Canon gear, and that might include even Canon lenses.
Here is the truth, as best we can verify. In a March 2009 FCC filing in the USA: Omnivision technologies disclosed that they were a complainant in an alleged Patent infringement. The Case: Panavision Imaging, LLC v. OmniVision Technologies, Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc., Micron Technology, Inc. and Aptina Imaging Corporation, Case No. CV09-1577.(full excerpt after the more link below)
We contacted Panavision USA, and Derrick O. Boston, EVP & General Counsel Pres., Advanced Imaging Group Panavision Imaging, confirmed that one of Panavision’s subsidiaries is in fact suing Canon and other companies – and that the FCC reference is true and on going. As it is continuing they can not discuss it.
We can also disprove the assertion that Panavision no longer rents any Canon gear. As recently as yesterday Panavision offices were happily renting Canon cameras and gear.
The reality is that Patent infringements are alleged to happen a lot and often suit begets counter suit. We do not know yet the full details of this particular case, but even if the case is found in Panavision’s favor it is a huge jump from that to any impact on retail sales, rentals or pricing of cameras. Canon, should it loose, would most likely arrive at a deal with Panavision, or swap patents or appeal, – as is the case with most of these such patent cases. Omnivision is bound to disclose such issues but is unable to comment on them. Without any insider knowledge one could bet this will prove a storm in a tea cup for anyone but the lawyers involved. (If it is not a tea cup storm – we’ll be the first to report it).
Full excerpts are below
On March 6, 2009, Panavision Imaging, LLC, or Panavision, filed a complaint against us alleging patent infringement in the District Court for the Central District of California. The case is entitled Panavision Imaging, LLC v. OmniVision Technologies, Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc., Micron Technology, Inc. and Aptina Imaging Corporation, Case No. CV09-1577. In its complaint, Panavision asserts that we make, have made, use, sell and/or import products that infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6,818,877 (“Pre-charging a Wide Analog Bus for CMOS Image Sensors”), 6,663,029 (“Video Bus for High Speed Multi-resolution Imagers and Method Thereof”) and 7,057,150 (“Solid State Imager with Reduced Number of Transistors per Pixel”). The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages, fees and expenses and injunctive relief against us. We expect to vigorously defend ourselves against Panavision’s allegations. At this time, we cannot estimate any possible loss or predict whether this matter will result in any material expense to us.
Read more: http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/091210/OMNIVISION-TECHNOLOGIES-INC_10-Q/#Item1_legalProceedings_191534%23ixzz0cJy687KH#ixzz0cM4ggXKH
Panavision letter to fxguide:
Panavision Imaging, LLC, one of our subsidiaries, has in fact sued Canon and other companies, as described in the excerpt from Omnivision’s SEC filing. We have no comment on this continuing litigation. Thanks.
Derrick O. Boston
EVP & General Counsel
Pres., Advanced Imaging Group