DigiMedia Tech sued JK Imaging in the Central District of California on Wednesday for patent infringement for camera-related zoom and focus patents. The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent No. 6,914,635 (the ’635 patent); 6,545,706 (the ’706 patent); 7,715,476 (the ’476 patent).
The ’635 patent, entitled “Microminiature Zoom System for Digital Camera,” is “directed to technical solutions to the technical problem of providing, zoom, autofocus, and other specific features to increasingly compact digital cameras.” JK Imaging allegedly infringed on at least claim 1 of the ’635 patent through its Kodak PixPro AZ401 and other similar products. DigiMedia claims that defendant’s product utilizes all of the elements specified in the patent. Specifically, the asserted product is a digital camera that has a lens assembly “mounted for receiving an image and projecting said image on an image plane.” DigiMedia asserted that these features, among others, use the patented technology; as a result, JK Imaging infringes on this patent.
The ’706 patent, entitled “System, Method and Article of Manufacture for Tracking a Head of a Camera-Generated Image of a Person,” is “directed to technical solutions to the technical problem of how to identify a head in an image,” which “is important…to assist in focusing a digital camera.” DigiMedia alleged that JK Imaging infringed at least claim 19 of the ’706 patent, which states, “[a] computer program embodied on a computer readable medium for tracking a head portion of a person image in video images…” The Kodak camera allegedly has the ability to track a person’s head in a video or continuous photos, as evidenced in the camera’s user manual and firmware. This allows the camera to detect and focus on faces to make them as clear as possible. The manual shows a white square around the face, which turns green when the face is in focus; it can also detect if a person has their eyes closed. Furthermore, the user manual adds that “faces may not be detected ‘if a face is turned sideways, is too distant, or if the contrast between face and background is insufficient’”; this illustrates that the camera’s “face-detection algorithm involves a first head tracking operation for generating a first confidence value representative of a confidence that a head portion of a person image in the video is located.” As a result of these features DigiMedia claims that JK Imaging has infringed on this patent.
The ’476 patent, entitled “System, Method and Article of Manufacture for Tracking a Head of a Camera-Generated Image of a Person,” is “directed to technical solutions to the technical problem of how to identify a head in an image,” which is important to focus a camera especially if the subject is moving. DigiMedia asserts that defendant infringes at least claim 21, 22, and 23 of the ’476 patent. These claims discuss similar elements as the’706 patent claims. Specifically, that the camera has a process to identify and track heads, which allows the user and camera to focus on the heads as indicated by the green focus square. Similarly, as a result of this use of technology, DigiMedia alleged that JK Imaging has infringed on these patented claims.
DigiMedia claimed that despite notifying JK Imaging, the defendant continues to infringe on these patents. Consequently, DigiMedia has sought declaratory judgment that the defendant has willfully infringed on these asserted patents; an award for damages; to declare this case exceptional and for the plaintiff to be awarded costs and fees; pre- and post-judgment interest; and other relief as determined by the court.
DigiMedia is represented by Cotman IP Law Group, APLC; and Kent & Risley LLC.