ARRI launches multiple challenges to validity of lighting effect patents in view of myriad prior art

·                    Manufacturers threatened with purported infringement of US patents covering conventional lighting effect functionalities

·                    ARRI launches IPR procedures to challenge legal validity of such patents, given that the alleged “inventions” have long been well-known

·                    Statement from Ivo Ivanovski, General Manager Business Unit Lighting ARRI

September 10, 2021, Munich/Stephanskirchen (Germany) – 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.

About ARRI:

“Inspiring images. Since 1917.” ARRI is a global player within the motion picture industry, employing around 1,200 staff worldwide. Named after its founders August Arnold and Robert Richter, ARRI was established in Munich, Germany, where the headquarters is still located today. Other subsidiaries are in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia.

The ARRI Group consists of the business units Camera Systems, Lighting, and Rental, all dedicated to connecting creativity and future technologies for moving images. ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems as well as system solutions for the film, broadcast, and media industries, with a worldwide distribution and service network. The portfolio includes digital cameras, lenses, camera accessories, archive technologies, lamp heads, and lighting accessories. Along with offering exclusive technologies, ARRI Rental’s first-class services and equipment provide camera, lighting, and grip packages to professional productions around the world.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recognized ARRI’s engineers and their contributions to the industry with 19 Scientific and Technical Awards.

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