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Fight Over 3-D Movie Technology

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Canadian visual effects company sued a Hollywood competitor on Tuesday, in a fight over a three-dimensional film technology patent.

Prime Focus Creative Services Canada sued Legend3D, in Federal Court.

Prime Focus claims it helped pioneer stereo 3D conversion technology and has contributed to several Hollywood blockbusters, including "Gravity," and "Harry Potter," "Transformer" and "Men in Black" films.

It claims it put Legend3D on notice that it's violating its patent on a "System and Process for Transforming Two-dimensional Images into Three-dimensional Images."

"Since at least the time when Legend3D was notified of the '628 Patent by Prime Focus, Legend3D has been aware of an objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted, and continue to constitute, infringement of the '628 Patent and that the '628 Patent is presumed valid," Prime Focus says in the complaint. "Despite that knowledge, on information and belief, Legend3D has continued its infringing activities."

Prime Focus has won several awards for its stereo 3D work, citing awards from the International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society for its work on "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" and "Gravity."

California-based Legend3D has worked on several big-budget films as well, including "The Lego Movie" and one of the "Spider-Man" films.

Legend3D CEO Brian Robertson defended his company's use of the 3D technology.

"The Prime Focus allegations are without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves against this baseless suit," Robertson said in a statement. "Legend3D's patent portfolio predates the single Prime Focus patent by 8 years."

Prime Focus was issued its patent in December 2104.

Three-D stereo technology generates an illusion of depth in a moving image, separately displaying two offset images to the right and left eyes of the observer.

Robertson called the federal lawsuit a reaction to Legend3D's growth in the film industry.

"Recently, we have been gaining significant market share in 2D to 3D conversion, so it is not surprising to see the meritless claim made today," Robertson said.

Prime Focus requests a jury trial, an injunction and compensation.

It is represented by Jonathan Kagan with Irell & Manella.

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