Countour LLC is ready to battle it out with GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) to protect its intellectual property, Rob Mooney, Contour’s General Counsel, told Trish Regan in an interview on Bloomberg’s Street Smart.
GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) has just been hit by a case filed by Contour LLC in which it argues that the publicly traded action cameras maker is illegally using Contour intellectual property in its cameras.
According to Mooney, years back when the action camera was just getting traction, their engineers found a problem which they then invented a solution to. An inherent flaw in the action camera design is that when it is mounted on something else, say a skateboard or a helmet, its user cannot see what the camera is seeing. It is also difficult to change settings and take images according to your liking without a viewfinder, he said.
Contour, Mooney said, invented a system for its cameras to wirelessly connect to other devices such as smartphones in order for these other devices to act as the camera’s viewfinder. Users can also use these paired devices to change their camera’s settings. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has in fact just granted Contour a patent for this technology.
Using these patents, GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) is now firmly in Contour’s viewfinder. He said that since these features are very popular, competitors like GoPro have introduced cameras incorporating that particular invention.
“The U.S. Patent Office just issued the patents on that invention just a couple of months ago and so we’ve now been taking a look at what our enforcement options are. Initially, we’ve now filed an enforcement action against GoPro for infringement of those two patents that deal with our wireless technology,” Mooney said.
He also added later that their end game would be for GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) and other similar companies to not use the technology these patents describe.
Contour LLC exited the action camera market in 2013 until Clarke Capital bought the company end re-entered the market in 2014. GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) went public in 2014.