RED sues Wooden Camera for copyright infringement

Wooden Camera is being sued by RED

 

 

Well, it looks like we have a stand-off. It’s no secret that third party camera accessories tend to be cheaper than the manufacturer versions, but this is the first time I’ve seen a manufacturer go after a third party vendor. RED appears to be suing Wooden Camera for copyright infringement.

Wooden Camera became a go-to resource for third party accessories for the Scarlet and Epic cameras, making it easy to use 3rd party batteries for those who found the sidehandle and redvolts underwhelming.

Today, it appears that the lawsuit is over the design of the V-Mount, Tactical Ribcage, the Universal Mounts (both the 15mm and 19mm) and the Swat Rail.

Here’s the full press release via Cinescopophilia:
RED is suing Wooden Camera in the U.S. District Court forthe Southern District of California case No. 12CV1336WQHRBB.

Wooden Camera A Lock

RED V Mount

The RED complaint with Wooden Camera has been lodged with the civil courts regarding:
Patent infringement
Trade Dress infringement
Unfair competition
False designation of Origin
The filing or determination of an action regarding patent and/or trademark number(s) US D654,110S : (vam) on the 5th of June 2012.

Wooden Camera Nato Cage 4 Arm

RED Tactical Rib Cage

RED has six claims for relief:
One claim for Patent Infringement and five claims for Trade Dress Infringement

Patent Infringement:
V-Mount, DSMC

Trade Dress Infringement:
V-Mount, DSMC
Tactical Ribcage, DSMC
Tactical Cage, DSMC
UniversalMount (15mm and 19mm)
Swat Rail

Wooden Camera Alleged Patent Infringement:
A-Lock mount

Wooden Camera Alleged Trade Dress Infringement:
A-Lock
Nato Cage (2 arms and 4 arms)
Nato Cage + (19mm and 15mm)
Cheese Cage
Cheese Cage + (19mm and 15mm)
Ultimate Top Mount (15mm and19mm)
Tiny-versal 15mm Studio
Tiny-versal 19mm
Safety NATO Rail

RED is seeking compensation to the order of:
An assessment and award of damages against Defendant in an amount no less than RED’s lost profits, Defendant’s profits or a reasonable royalty for Defendant’s infringement of RED’s trade dress rights in its V-Mount, DSMC Tactical Ribcage, DSMC Tactical Cage, DSMC Universal Mount (15mm and19mm) and Swat Rail products pursuant to 15 USC § 1125(a) : Plus an order requiring Defendant to deliver up and destroy all infringing digital cinema camera accessories/

Odd part about the claim can be sussed out at Paragraph 16:

As a result, RED has been damaged significantly in the digital cinema accessory market. RED contends and believes that its image and the reputation of its products has been tarnished and diminished by Defendant’s sale of RED copy sunglasses of inferior quality.

 

If you’d like to read the full court documents, check them out on Scribd.

I am pro-competition. This is the same exact competitive spirit that brought people the REDONE, which turned the whole film industry on its head. Shouldn’t there be more than one option for camera accessories? Shouldn’t the end user decide what the best value is?

For a company that touts phrases like ‘Obsolescence Obsolete’ and exudes a ‘modular’ attitude, this seems a bit out of character. What is more modular than giving filmmakers as many options and solutions as possible? Rather (effectively) shutting down Wooden Camera, what about working out a profit attribution deal? Only time will tell, but one must wonder, does this mean all other 3rd party manufacturers need to look over their shoulder before they consider making a viable solution for RED cameras?

As somebody who owns Wooden Camera, Gino, and GMP accessories, this worries me. These options allow me to use my camera in ways that RED accessories would not have, and for a much better price.

Although, it is worth noting that the lawsuit is for products which are identical to RED’s own offerings. Still, let’s hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend. Thoughts, guys?

    • James T.
    • June 30th, 2012 5:43pm

    The statement made by RED the it’s image and reputation has been tarnished is complete bunk. We all know that RED’s products are higher quality than WC. That doesn’t mean WC produces cheap quality items, WC items are excellent in terms of quality but not as good as RED’s.

    RED is also suing WC for their similar A-Mount. But View Factor came up with this design first. So the question remains how can RED sue WC for something that View Factor invented?

    Also RED claims to welcome third party competition or third parties building products for RED. If this is a fact why are they building proprietary mounts for their items? And why do they care if anyone else uses them? This means that third parties cannot use a practical method for mounting a REDmote other than paying RED for something as simple as a mount. That’s
    the same shady business practice of companies like Sony and Apple.

    Also there are many companies with similar cage designs. The only thing these cages accomplish is to add mounting points around the camera. WC’s is similar in design but not an exact replica. It will be interesting to see what the courts decide on as far as adding mounting points around a camera.

    RED just opened up the market to a whole new group of independents. Even without the competition I doubt users will buy RED accessories because of affordability. If RED want’s users buying their accessories maybe there is something they should really consider…..price.

    • Josh T.
    • June 30th, 2012 5:48pm

    The statement made by RED the it’s image and reputation has been tarnished is complete bunk. We all know that RED’s products are higher quality than WC. That doesn’t mean WC produces cheap quality items, WC items are excellent in terms of quality but not as good as RED’s.

    RED is also suing WC for their similar A-Mount. But View Factor came up with this design first. So the question remains how can RED sue WC for something that View Factor invented?

    Also RED claims to welcome third party competition or third parties building products for RED. If this is a fact why are they building proprietary mounts for their items? And why do they care if anyone else uses them? This means that third parties cannot use a practical method for mounting a REDmote other than paying RED for something as simple as a mount. That’s
    the same shady business practice of companies like Sony and Apple.

    Also there are many companies with similar cage designs. The only thing these cages accomplish is to add mounting points around the camera. WC’s is similar in design but not an exact replica. It will be interesting to see what the courts decide on as far as adding mounting points around a camera.

    RED just opened up the market to a whole new group of independents. Even without the competition I doubt users will buy RED accessories because of affordability. If RED want’s users buying their accessories maybe there is something they should really consider…..price.

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