April 16, 2008 / 8:07 PM / in 10 years

Flip Video camera maker faces patent suit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A tiny New York company has filed a patent suit against the California company that makes Flip Video camcorders in U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan on Wednesday.

“We invented the concept,” said Stephen Roth, the plaintiff’s lawyer, of Advanced Video Technologies, LLC (AVT), which he described as an incubator technology firm based in the New York City suburb of Suffern.

The Flip Video cameras -- tiny, stripped-down video recorders -- are made by Pure Digital Technology Inc, which is financed by Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital, Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Steamboat Ventures, an affiliate of the Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), among others.

San Francisco-based Pure Digital did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.

The suit alleges that AVT holds the patent to the “Full Duplex Single Chip Video Codec,” or software that allows the Flip Video cameras to compress video files into a far smaller form while keeping the images looking sharp. It is the essence of the camera, which has captured 13 percent of the camcorder market, according to a New York Times report.

    AVT is not seeking to prevent the camcorders’ sales, but it is seeking unspecified damages and a reasonable royalty, Roth said.

    Reporting by Leslie Gevirtz, editing by Richard Chang

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