Arri has launched Inter Partes Reviews procedures with the US Patent Office challenging the legal validity of patents covering conventional lighting effect functionalities. Arri contends that the alleged inventions have long been well-known. Ivo Ivanovski, Arri’s general manager business unit lighting, issued a statement outlining his company’s position. Here is the statement in full:
“It is Arri’s focal mission to support creatives worldwide in realizing their ideas with professional camera systems, lighting equipment, and holistic solutions.
“In order to develop our products, and their features and software, we listen to our customers, follow trends, create our own innovations and pick up on concepts on the market and in workflows, so we can use our expertise to develop, define, and improve our products. In doing so, we respect intellectual property and value the work of engineers around the globe.
“Unfortunately, it can repeatedly be observed that patents are erroneously granted for technical solutions that are not new, but rather state of the art. These properties are then often improperly exploited by rights holders, in an attempt to claim the right to be the sole owner of inventions that are in fact already known technical solutions, or to make financial demands for their use.
“Manufacturers of various lighting products that have been well established on the market for many years now and that make use of conventional lighting effect functionalities are currently being threatened with an alleged infringement of US patents that encompass these well-known functionalities, although these functionalities have been well-known in the art and established on the market for decades.
“It is our view that these patents should not have issued and are invalid, because the technical advances they claim are not in fact new, but instead were already well known and in widespread use at the time of the alleged invention. So that we may continue to effectively offer our customers these conventional functionalities, we find ourselves in the position of having to initiate IPRs (Inter Partes Reviews) of existing US patents, in order to have the US Patent Office review their legal validity.
“We have to defend ourselves, including to protect our customers and the industry against intellectual and industrial property rights that do not protect an innovation but instead improperly limit the available technical options.
“As a globally active film technology company with a more than 100-year tradition, Arri has always placed great value on interacting with creatives, and we feel obliged to the industry to provide innovations in fair competition.”