Microsoft Sued Over Rights to Kinect Tech

     ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – Kinect, a facial-recognition component for Microsoft’s Xbox video game system, infringes on patented technology, Intelligent Verification Systems claims in federal court.
     The Virginia-based Intelligent Verification Systems says its ‘073 patent, “Animated Toy Utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Facial Image Recognition,” was issued in 2006.
     The patent protected expression- and facial-recognition technology with applications and specifically notes its suitability for video games, video gaming systems and other entertainment systems, according to the complaint.
     This interactive user invention for entertainment equipment was the first of its kind, whereas any prior facial recognition technology was used only in security environments, Intelligent Verification Systems says.
     Though Microsoft’s Xbox console dates back to 2001, Intelligent Verification has taken issue with Kinect, introduced in November 2010 as an upgrade to the Xbox 360 system.
     Kinect system and its third-party games use the patented facial- and expression-recognition technology through a camera sensor, adding a new dimension to the communication capabilities already available with Xbox Live, according to the complaint.
     Intelligent Verification Systems says its lawyers made Microsoft aware of the infringement, to no avail, in a June 2011 letter.
     The stolen technology has allegedly increased Microsoft sales by the millions and put Kinect in the Guinness World Record as the “fastest selling consumer electronics device.”
     Majesco Entertainment, which designed a game called “Zumba Fitness Rush” for Kinect, is also benefitting from the infringement, according to the complaint.
     Intelligent Verification Systems wants an injunction to stop Microsoft and Majesco’s patent infringement and their written acknowledgement within 30 days. It also seeks a jury trial and treble damages.
     The company is represented by Michael Mutter with Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch in Falls Church, Va.

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