MasterImage 3D has challenged the validity of four of RealD’s 3D polarization patents by filing five petitions for Inter Partes Review (IPR) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. MasterImage 3D asserts that RealD’s patents claim to have invented techniques that have been well-known for decades and should never have been granted.
MasterImage 3D pursued the IPR as a faster legal resolution than the patent lawsuit filed by RealD against MasterImage 3D. In the opinion of MasterImage 3D, RealD’s improper patent protection stalls competition in the 3D business. A correction would encourage innovation in 3D technology to the benefit of both moviegoers and the exhibition industry.
“Per the expert guidance of Matthew Brennesholtz, an independent cinema technology consultant and holder of 23 patents, there is a broad history of prior art techniques to increase the output of digital projection,” said Michael Karagosian, principal at MKPE Consulting. “Much of what RealD accomplishes and claims ownership to was previously documented in prior patents and technical literature. It seems clear this prior art invalidates many of their patent claims.” [Full disclosure: Michael Karagosian is a Digital Cinema Report guest columnist.]
MasterImage 3D’s Patent Office challenge diminishes RealD’s patent infringement lawsuit filed against MasterImage 3D’s new cinema system, HORIZON3D. The HORIZON3D inventive approach utilizes a three-beam, polarization-recovery technology. The HORIZON3D’s optical configuration achieves industry-leading brightness (as high as 33 percent light efficiency), high contrast and clarity, and satisfies contemporary auditorium designs that have very wide-screens with immersive stadium seating (as low as 0.8 throw ratios).
MasterImage 3D has already successfully challenged the validity of RealD’s utility model patents in China and Russia for lacking novelty and inventiveness. The company continues to compete with RealD for 3D cinema presentation in every market around the world.
In response to our email, Rick Heineman, RealD’s senior vice president, marketing communications said, “RealD is confident in our significant patent position around our XL Cinema System technology. This includes patents granted or pending in territories such as the United States, Europe, China, Japan, S. Korea, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico and Russia. RealD invests heavily in research & development to ensure the industry’s brightest, premium visual experience for our partners and moviegoers around the world.”