Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R
Well, Apple did lift it. The technologies been around for... how long?
I'm all for suing Apple if it is justified. I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that in this case, it's not.
Technologically, there's no difference between blue screens and multicolour screens. They work the same way.
I can't patent a Yellow Screen. Or can I ?!!?!11
Edit: Whoops, didn't RTFA. It sounds like this company has patented compositing! Holy expletive! They own 3D graphics, compositing apps and real-time video editing! GTFO.
It's no different between blue screen and regular background?
Then it is a simple question - which video related software has this feature (other than the patent holder's software and iChat)? If they are no different, I am sure every single video editing software would have it.
Please please please read the patent. It is not about a single color background. You can sit in your office with all your junks in the background. The patent is about recognizing which area of the video is "background" and replace it. It does not look for any particular color (whether it is blue, pink, red, purple, green or yellow).
[Edit] Let's be a little more technical.
If you look for a particular color, the best way is to convert to Y Cb Cr, and look for particular Cb Cr combination. No matter what kind of lighting you have on that blue, the Cb Cr combination is very consistant. I have done a project looking for skin tones and the result is very predictable. I am pretty sure most of the face recognition use this method too (and I bet they are all patented).
If you look for static background, you will have to use motion detection. It is not difficult - just look for the area which doesn't move. Actually, you probably still want to convert to Y Cb Cr and look for area whose Cb and Cr values don't change much (but ignore Y), so if the lighting of the room changes, it still knows the background is the background.
Today, any reasonable video engineer would be able to do this. Like I said in my earlier post, the problem is that you have to rewind your mind back to 1997. I don't dare to say this was an obvious inventor 10 years ago.
I believe the patent is indeed valid. However, I have the problem with the demand of the plaintiff (and probably with how the patent cases are fought in court in general). Let's say the court finds for the plaintiff, it should order Apple to remove this feature from OSX (it doesn't work well anyway), and pay the damages. However, what is the damage? I will bet the plaintiff is not financially hurt by Apple's action whatsoever so there is no damage.
Company should get profit by selling products people want, and have patents which matters, not by holding some patents nobody care about (even if they are valid), and sue, when the patent doesn't contribute to their business at all.