WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - A Plano, Texas, security company last week sued the federal government for patent infringement.
Plaintiff 3rd Eye Surveillance LLC filed its eight-page complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Friday.
In its complaint, 3rd Eye alleges that the government is unlawfully using its three video and image surveillance patents. The company seeks damages exceeding $1 billion.
The owner of the patents, Discovery Patents LLC of Baltimore, also is a plaintiff.
The defendants include the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, among others.
The litigation covers surveillance used to monitor secure areas for real-time threat assessments, including the protection of government assets and officials, public locations and monitoring space from ground level.
James Otis Faulkner, the founder of Discovery Patents, invented the surveillance system patents in 2002 to improve residential and commercial security alarm systems while helping safeguard people and property from potential emergencies, including criminal activity, acts of terror, natural disasters and medical emergencies.
“I originally invented and patented the real-time surveillance systems following Sept. 11 to help connect multiple databases and allow law enforcement to assess potentially life-threatening situations in real time before acting,” Faulkner said.
“The intent of these patents was to save money and lives.”
Faulkner’s invention includes the process of sending real-time surveillance video and images to emergency personnel through a communications link.
Two subsequent patents were issued to encompass voice and facial recognition software.
The three patents, which have been successfully defended against more than 10 municipalities and private businesses, allow the government to provide real-time surveillance video, audio recognition, facial recognition and infrared images to emergency responders and defense agencies.
“We are thrilled our system has been widely adopted and so helpful for the government, but exploiting these patents without a license cripples our ability to survive as a small business,” said Offie Wiseman, co-owner of 3rd Eye Surveillance, which is the exclusive licensee of Faulkner’s three patents.
Stephen A. Kennedy, lead counsel and a shareholder at Dallas-based Kennedy Law PC, said the federal government “knowingly” infringed on 3rd Eye’s patent rights and is impeding the company’s ability to do business.
“This lawsuit seeks a license for past, present and future use of the technology by the federal government,” he said. “The license is worth much more than $1 billion, and the judgment will depend on the scope of the use of this surveillance technology throughout the country.”
Faulkner filed the initial patent application in July 2002. The voice and facial recognition patents were issued in September 2004 and January 2008, respectively.
In 2012, Faulkner negotiated exclusive licensing rights of the three patents to 3rd Eye, which designs, installs and services digital video surveillance systems.
Judge Charles F. Lettow is presiding over the case.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.