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Monday, July 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Security System Claims It Can See Intent

HOUSTON (CN) - A Houston company that claims its surveillance systems can detect "characteristics of movement ... indicative of an individual having criminal intent," is violating a competitor's patents, the rival claims in court.

Criminal Activity Surveillance LLC sued Behavioral Recognition Systems Inc. dba BRS Labs, in Federal Court.

Criminal Activity Surveillance (CAS) filed the complaint in Marshall, Texas in April, and a magistrate judge granted BRS Labs' unopposed motion to transfer the case to Houston last week.

CAS is a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., a so-called patent troll.

Through subsidiaries, Acacia Research teams up with inventors and patent owners to license patents to corporations for a share of the licensing revenue. Acacia Research subsidiaries control more than 250 patent portfolios, according to a statement from the company.

CAS claims in its new lawsuit: "The technology at the heart of this dispute relates to Video Surveillance and analysis, which involves the use of intelligent video monitoring equipment (typically a combination of hardware and software) to analyze video images and provide an appropriate response signal ...

"In the ten years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, the demand and usage of Video Surveillance systems have exploded. At least several billion dollars have been spent to install or upgrade Video Surveillance equipment at airports, train stations, commercial ports, national monuments, historic buildings, state capitols, military facilities, museums, libraries, factories and private commercial buildings." (Parentheses in complaint.)

CAS claims the inventor of the patents at issue is David G. Aviv, an award-winning electrical engineer, who has published a book about laser space communications.

"Public safety became a personal interest of Mr. Aviv in the 1980s," the complaint states. "At that time, Mr. Aviv's son was a medical student in New York. His son had told Mr. Aviv of a surgeon working at New York Presbyterian hospital that was assaulted and killed leaving the hospital late at night. Mr. Aviv believed better, smarter security was needed to protect society.

"In the 1990s, when Mr. Aviv's son became an attending physician at the same hospital, Mr. Aviv became very concerned for his son's safety. Mr. Aviv's son worked until very late, often leaving the hospital at 2 or 3 a.m. There were very few security guards at the hospital and his son walked the same route from the hospital to his car that the murdered surgeon had taken.

"Due to the continuing lack of security at the hospital, Mr. Aviv conceived of a security system that would utilize video sensors and software that could detect suspicious acts as they occurred."

Over the years, CAS says, Aviv unsuccessfully pitched his invention, called the "Public Eye Security System," to Siemens, L-3 Communications, Raytheon, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, the Rand Corp. and Citicorp Technology, among others.

Due to failing health, Aviv assigned the patents to Prophet, a San Francisco-based marketing consultant, which now owns the patents, CAS says.

"Through an Exclusive License Agreement, CAS was granted all substantive rights, including the exclusive right to enforce and collect damages for past, present and future infringement of the '147 Patent and the '690 Patent," the complaint states.

BRS Labs was founded in 2005 "in direct response to the market need created from 9/11 to build a surveillance system that would continue to gain intelligence based on its ability to learn and analyze everything observed," according to the complaint.

CAS says it contacted BRS Labs in June 2012 with a letter seeking information about BRS' AISight product, and "enclosed publicly available information ... which CAS believes show that the AISight product infringed upon patent rights of CAS."

On its website, BRS Labs describes the AISight as "the ONLY video surveillance software that meets the needs of today's ever-changing security environment."

In its answer to the lawsuit, BRS Labs denied that CAS "has any viable claim for patent infringement."

But CAS insists the AISight product infringes on its patents and gives a detailed explanation of how it does so.

"BRS Labs is infringing ... by, among other things, making, using, importing, and/or offering for sale video surveillance and security analytics systems, including, but not limited to systems that generate, using a video camera, a video signal of an individual within a field of view of a camera; sample a relative movement from one or more images captured by a video camera of the field of view of the individual with respect to a moved, movable or moving object captured by the video camera of the field of view; electronically compare the sampled relative movement of the individual with known characteristics of movement that are indicative of an individual having criminal intent; determine a level of criminal intent of the individual based upon the compared sampled movement of the individual; and generate a signal indicating that the predetermined level of criminal intent is present if the determined level of criminal intent of the individual establishes that the predetermined level of criminal intent is present," the complaint states.

CAS seeks declaratory judgment, an injunction and damages "in an amount not less than a reasonable royalty."

It is represented by Robert Brunelli with Sheridan Ross, of Denver.

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