3 More Porn Studios Face Video Index Infringement Claims

Aug 21, 2010 6:00 AM PST
MARSHALL, Texas — Three more adult companies have been dragged into another suit waged over alleged infringement of a patent relating to video-indexing processes that use thumbnail images during DVD navigation.

Wicked Pictures, Digital Playground and Evil Angel Productions have been named to the new suit filed last week.

The three blue-chip adult studios now join Vivid Entertainment, Penthouse Digital, Adam & Eve and Bang Productions, which were named to a similar suit in May at U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas.

The seven adult companies, collectively in two suits, are fighting Houston-based Inmotion Imagery Technologies' stance that own the intellectual property over thumbnail video teasers used in DVDs.

Inmotion, a patent holding company also named to the latest suit some of the biggest names in mainstream, including 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Searchlight Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, DW Studios, Dreamworks Animation Home Entertainment, Nu Image and First Look Studios.

In the first suit, Walt Disney Studios, New Line Home Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Co. also were named.

Inmotion, in the suits, says the adult and mainstream companies haven't made deals to use the technology detailed in U.S. Patent No. 6,526,219. As a result, Inmotion has filed suit against the companies.

The invention, Inmotion says in the patent filing, relates "generally to video recording and, more particularly, to a system for storing and displaying thumbnail images representative of the contents of a video-recording medium, thereby enabling a user to locate a particular section rapidly and conveniently."

The federal court in Marshall is a popular one for patent lawsuits. Adult industry attorneys confide that quick trials and plaintiff-friendly juries are the big draw there. So are the Texas-sized verdicts sometimes handed to winners.

Patent cases are heard faster in Marshall than in many other courts, forcing some defendants to buckle under the pressure of time when trying to sort out complex infringement cases. And while only about five percent make it to trial in Marshall, patent holders win 78 percent of the time, compared with an average of 59 percent nationwide, according to LegalMetric, a company that tracks patent litigation.

In the suit waged over video indexing using thumbnails, Inmotion is seeking damages and an injunction against the companies, as well as attorneys fees.

When contacted about a response to the lawsuit, Digital Playground said, "We have no comment."

Wicked said, “We just received paperwork last week and are looking into it.” Evil Angel did not immediately respond to XBIZ for comment.

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