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Warners Stole Piracy Gadget, Inventor Says

(CN) - Warner Bros. used a German company's anti-piracy technology without permission for 7 years after the inventor pitched the product to the studio, the German company claims in Manhattan Federal Court.

Medien Patent Verwaltung claims it invented technology that inserts a distinctive code into the soundtrack of films, which makes it possible to track pirated copies to the theater from which it originated.

The inventor, Gerhard Lehmann, described the system "in intricate detail" during a September 2003 confidential meeting with Warner Bros., Medien Patent claims.

One month later, Medien says, Warner Bros. asked German film manufacturer TS Provide to replicate Lehmann's invention.

TS Provide is not a party to the lawsuit.

Medien says Warner Bros. European movie releases have contained Lehmann's audio code since October 2003.

And, Medien claims, Technicolor Inc. and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group printed films for Warner Bros. using Lehmann's invention for the U.S. and European markets.

Medien says that Warner Bros., Technicolor and Deluxe Entertainment ignored its cease and desist letters.

Medien demands treble damages and an injunction for patent infringement. It is represented by Richard Garbarini.

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