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Technicolor Takes Aim At Apple, Samsung, Others for Patent Infringement 161

Master Moose sends this quote from a Bloomberg report: "When Apple's next iPhone hits store shelves, Technicolor's engineers will rush to get the handset — not to make calls or play games, but to rip it apart. Technicolor, an unprofitable French company that invented the process for color movies used in The Wizard of Oz and countless other classics, plans to cash in on its 40,000 video, audio and optics patents to turn its fortunes around. The company has a team of 220 people dissecting every new smartphone and tablet from industry goliaths such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and HTC for patent infringements. Although Technicolor signed its first licensing deal in the 1950s, de Russe [executive vice-president of intellectual property at Technicolor] said, 'it feels like the rest of the world has just woken up to why patents are interesting.' Patent licensing is the most profitable business of the company."
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Technicolor Takes Aim At Apple, Samsung, Others for Patent Infringement

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @06:05PM (#40161083)

    Just to be clear for those that are easily confused, Technicolor was invented in America and is named after MIT. From Wikipedia:

    The Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation was founded in Boston in 1914 (incorporated in Maine in 1915) by Herbert Kalmus, Daniel Frost Comstock, and W. Burton Wescott. The "Tech" in the company's name was inspired by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Kalmus received his undergraduate degree and was later an instructor. Technicolor, Inc. was chartered in Delaware in 1921.

  • Re:Face Palm (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @06:20PM (#40161237)

    Technicolor isn't the measly US company known long ago for that color thingy from the abstract. It is actually the renamed gathering of activities of what once was Thomson.

    So at least in the audio and video field, that H.264, mp3 (pro) and related hardware for you. That is probably also where they are doing the most benefit in their IP. Not for very long, considering the age of the patents involved.

  • Re:Face Palm (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @06:31PM (#40161335)

    the article is factually wrong - the first colour movies were Kinemacolor, a British colour process invented circa 1906.

  • Re:Face Palm (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bo'Bob'O ( 95398 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @06:38PM (#40161413)

    A pretty decent bit at least. They used to own Grass Vally and Thompson Broadcast, two big players in broadcast and cable video, as well as still being apart of cinema both digital and analog. So it's not just some holding company using a once familiar brand-name, they've been a relevant company. Of course, they have sold off a lot of that stuff now so maybe this is another sign of their decline.

  • Re:Face Palm (Score:4, Informative)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @07:23PM (#40161875) Journal

    Because design patents != engineering/software patents.

    HTH a little.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @07:42PM (#40162063)
    Not if they change the patent slightly. Since they own the patent they can create a new device/process/whatever based on the original and basically renew the patent. Drug companies are famous for this. Look at CFC free albuterol inhalers.

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