There is probably no sign of the summer slump at RED, quite the opposite. In the next few weeks, the American camera manufacturer is unlikely to be able to rest on its laurels. It started a few weeks ago with the "printer ink reproach", RED sells cheap standard components off the peg with a more than stately surcharge.
Then Andrew Reid of EOSHD spoke a few days ago and reported that years ago RED urged him to sign a kind of journalistic muzzle under threat of a fine of 70,000 dollars.
And in the eagerness of this discussion, Personal View now turned up a document that proves that Apple filed a very detailed motion with the US Patent and Trademark Office in May of this year to nullify the infamous RED-RAW patents. Be it out of triviality or because of Prior Art.
The RED-RAW patents in question have been highly controversial for some time and are rumored to prevent many camera manufacturers from implementing compressed RAW codecs for moving images. Because to date, RED has demanded corresponding license fees for this.
Jeromy Young of Atomos, for example, openly told the last NAB that they are now paying royalties to RED, while Blackmagic is quite obviously trying to get around them by partial debayering in the camera at BRAW.
But why is Apple taking this legal step? The reason is probably to be found in ProRES RAW. Apple would certainly like to see this in-house format in more cameras, but few manufacturers would want to transfer a lot of money to RED.
That this might further burden the friendship between RED and Apple is almost obvious. So meanwhile the
exclusive RED Camera-Scarlett Set has disappeared from the Apple Store again. And only in January RED publicly demanded a fair deal with Nvidia from Apple.
In addition RED has nearly no counter pressure means opposite Apple in the hand, since Apple does not manufacture cameras, which could violate RED patents. Therefore the legal risk for Apple is limited to the Honoar for a few lawyers and the expert who formulated the application.