Microsoft sued over Kinect technology

Microsoft is facing a lawsuit from a company that claims Microsoft violated its patent when it launched the Kinect gesture capture technology. The company in question is Virginia-based Intelligent Verification Systems, which filed its lawsuit in federal court earlier this month.

Courthouse News reports that Intelligent Verification Systems was issued a patent, titled "Animated Toy Utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Facial Image Recognition", in 2006. The company believes Microsoft is infringing on its patent with the Kinect hardware and software. Intelligent Verification Systems claims they sent a letter to Microsoft in June 2011 to inform them of the patent infringement but it seems the two groups were unable to come to an agreement.

Launched at first as an add-on for the Xbox 360 console in 2010, Microsoft has been promoting the use of the Kinect technology not just in games, but in other business applications. Microsoft launched the PC version of Kinect earlier this year.

This new lawsuit also includes game publisher Majesco Entertainment, which released a Kinect-specific game, Zumba Fitness Rush. Intelligent Verification Systems is asking that both Microsoft and Majesco to stop their infringement of the patent within 30 days, along with a request for a jury trial. So far, Microsoft has yet to respond to this lawsuit.

Source: Courthouse News | Image via Microsoft

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From Wikipedia: The depth sensing technology behind Kinect was invented in 2005 by Zeev Zalevsky, Alexander Shpunt, Aviad Maizels and Javier Garcia.

Kinect was around fo a while before Microsoft acquired it.

Major Plonquer said,
From Wikipedia: The depth sensing technology behind Kinect was invented in 2005 by Zeev Zalevsky, Alexander Shpunt, Aviad Maizels and Javier Garcia.

Kinect was around fo a while before Microsoft acquired it.


MS didn't acquired Kinect. Just the sensors that they wrote the API's for!

So they've held this patent since 2006 and MS didn't start producing and advertising the kinect till 2010 it's now 2 years later and kinect has become popular ........Why did they wait so long before suing over this patent surely if they're in the business of making and supplying this type of stuff you'd have been keeping an eye out / staying informed about like minded stuff coming to market.... It's not like MS kept this a big secret even when it was in development so it appears to me this is just another BS lawsuit that deserves to be thrown out of court

just had a look at the patent. microsoft has nothing to worry about. you cant get a patent just for facial recognition. there has to be a process to your facial recognition,and the patent filing includes their diagrams, which are a teddy bear with a camera mounted on its head. And their facial recognition algorithm is so primitive,and not how microsoft would be capturing their data and processing said captured data.

Cant Microsoft buy them out?
And isn't it time Microsoft used the WWW Patents they hold and **** everyone?

Riva said,
Cant Microsoft buy them out?
And isn't it time Microsoft used the WWW Patents they hold and **** everyone?

MS has so many patents, they can cripple the whole IT world. People seem to never notice how goddamn much MS invests back into IT that is not for profit and free for anyone to use.

Shadowzz said,

MS has so many patents, they can cripple the whole IT world. People seem to never notice how goddamn much MS invests back into IT that is not for profit and free for anyone to use.

They can target say, Google, Motorola or anyone who uses SSL certificates and gets in their way

I don't know if this is the same company, but a company with the same name does have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Intelligent.Verification.Systems - joined August 12. The web site listed on the About screen appears to be invalid - just a message about web hosting.

"IVS is a leader in the biometrics business, providing technical services and design to the business community" and there is no sign they have any products for sale. No comment on any services either. Their only contact info is the invalid web site. http://www.ivs-biometrics.com/ which doesn't even have a company logo.

I don't see how they have lost anything. I could create a more convincing FB page. They have no posts. They've done nothing with their online presence. I did find an address for the company, but for some reason an inactive listing also comes up for a TX address.

This looks more like an attempt to profit off of Microsoft than protecting patents. These lawsuits are getting silly, and I'm seriously annoyed with companies that patent something and then do nothing with it? There should be something if they were trying to raise money or seeking business. It's hard to believe a tech company would have this little online presence.

As annoying as the Apple lawsuits were getting, at least they were over real products, not vaporware.

slade37 said,
I don't know if this is the same company, but a company with the same name does have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Intelligent.Verification.Systems - joined August 12. The web site listed on the About screen appears to be invalid - just a message about web hosting.

<snip>

I agree with you, but it doesn't really matter. If they have the patent, they have the patent. Whether they use it or not doesn't make much difference.

The patent system is screwed, and unfortunately for some people it can offer an opportunity for easy money. Such a technology was only matter of time, all it takes is someone to realize that it's not patented yet so they may as well patent it and wait for someone else to make it.

logicwin said,
"animated toy using AI and face recognition" you gotta be joking...

There's got to be prior art for this, using neural networks for gesture recognition is industry standard, I literally did this at Uni for my dissertation 4 years ago, hope I don't get sued.

Can't f***ing innovate anymore without a good legal department.

The patent system is now being used in the opposite to its intended purpose. What was once used to protect small inventors from copycats has grown to be abused by lawyers to institute legal monopolies and stifle progress.

Edited by Reacon, Sep 29 2012, 4:32am :

Reacon said,
Can't f***ing innovate anymore without a good legal department.

The patent system is now being used in the opposite to its intended purpose. What was once used to protect small inventors from copycats has grown to be abused by lawyers to institute legal monopolies and stifle progress.


Agreed. And I'm sure nothing was ever made of this patent they're claiming was infringed... But of course the only acceptable resolution would be for Microsoft to completely stop violating the patent. LOL. Like I say all the time. Patents really shouldn't apply to software.

M_Lyons10 said,

Patents really shouldn't apply to software.

Which didn't exist until Apple went after Franklin and not only got the ruling they wanted, and essentially created software patents.