Tag Archives: PACA conference 2013 New York

Uniloc and Patent Trolling

By Nancy Wolff, Esq., PACA Counsel

At the PACA 2013 Conference this October, we held a panel on patent trolls that are targeting this industry, and in particular, the Company Uniloc that alleges to have a patent on licensing images online and had targeted 4 companies in the micro stock space. Patent trolls are companies that purchase patents for the sole purpose of bringing claims against third parties. These cases are almost always brought in the Eastern District if Texas, which is a favorable jurisdiction for plaintiffs. Patent litigation is extremely expensive, and many companies will settle just to avoid costs. Many of these patent trolls acquire business method patents, which unlike inventions, merely describe a system for doing business and can be quite vague and overly broad. In the early days of the internet, many of these patents were issued as examiners did not have access to information regarding prior art in many industries.

On the  panel was Tamany Bentz, patent attorney from Venable, who represented Dreamstime, as well as Ellen Boughn,  who worked as an expert to provide information to the attorneys as to early online business practices in the industry. With  patent cases, you can attempt to invalidate a patent if you can establish prior art. Other defenses include showing how your process is different from the one described in the patent. (Dreamstime in fact settled with the plaintiff but Ellen’s report was apparently used by the other defendants. As noted below, those cases were dismissed with prejudice before any judicial ruling on the patent claim.)

The initial claims were brought against the following companies:

Former Defendants:
Dreamstime — settled
Inmagine — dismissed
RevoStock — dismissed
Depositphotos — dismissed

During the panel discussion,  it was recommended that PACA help be a source if business information, and that if other claims are brought by Uniloc or others, the industry collaborate together in order to defeat these claims. Since the meeting Uniloc has filed new patent claims in Texas against a numbers of other companies, listed below.

Getty, Corbis, iStockPhoto LP, Age Fotostock America Inc., SS SPV LLC, Envato PTY Ltd., Fotolia LLC., PhotoShelter, Inc., Photo Stock Plus, and VectorStock Media Limited

It may be helpful the join forces and share as much information as we are able to publicly, to discourage these claims.  PACA is willing to be the central point for collecting information.

Tamany has agreed to speak to any PACA member and can be reached below. We will continue to update members as we learn more about these filings.

Tamany Vinson Bentz, Esq.
Venable LLP
t 310.229.9905
f 310.229.9901
2049 Century Park East, Suite 2100
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Visual Steam’s 2013 Stock Image Buyers Survey

Leslie Hughes, Visual Steam’s Founder recently spoke at the PACA 2013 Conference in NYC and mentioned how pleased and surprised she was to PacaSearch tied for fifth as the go-to website for buyers!  If you’re not on our mega-search engine yet, you need to be….

“We look at this first survey of stock image buyers as a way to get a baseline understanding of market dynamics affecting image licensing today.”

In June 2013, Visual Steam (http://www.visualsteam.com) surveyed thousands of U.S. art buyers, art directors, creative directors and marketing professionals to better understand stock image buying behavior today (still photography and motion). The company has published the results of this survey on the company’s website at http://visualsteam.com/Visual_Steam___2013_Stock_Buyers_Survey.html.

Interested parties can download a written summary or view a video presentation of results.

The survey results provide a glimpse into what is driving stock image licensing today, how clients perceive top destinations, and what stock image providers can do better. Leslie Hughes, Visual Steam’s Founder, said, “We look at this first survey of stock image buyers as a way to get a baseline understanding of market dynamics affecting image licensing today. We were pleased with the results and hope to make this an annual survey.”

For more information about Visual Steam, please go to http://www.visualsteam.com.

About Visual Steam

Visual Steam helps companies monetize content and art buyers find the content they need. The company offers a broad range of services to business clients including contract sales support, research services, management consulting services, training and marketing support. Equidyne Holdings, LLC, d.b.a. Visual Steam, works with companies innovating in visual, digital media. For more information on Visual Steam, we invite you to go to http://www.visualsteam.com, or contact info(at)visualsteam(dot)com.  Visual Steam is a Corporate Sponsor of PACA.

PACA 2013 Conference Rocks!

The PACA staff and Program Committee are still riding high from the success of the PACA 2013  Conference!  Feedback from participants has been great and we believe that this was one of our best conferences in recent years.

The move from a hotel seems to have been a positive one and we enjoyed being the only event going on in the Altman Building.  The content of the sessions was excellent and full of amazing information for all in attendance.  We plan to post as many power-point presentations and notes as possible on our website in the upcoming weeks.

We also will be sending out a post-conference survey, so please be looking for it in the next day or so.  Please be sure to take a few minutes to fill it out, as it is our only way to hear from you and make adjustments for next year.

Thank you to all the fabulous speakers, panelists, committee members and everyone else who worked to make this a great event.   We look forward to seeing everyone back in NYC next year!