The patent dispute between RED and Nikon takes a somewhat unexpected turn - in May it became known that RED is suing the Japanese because of the internal, compressed RAW recording in the Nikon Z9, since this is an infringement of their RAW patent US9245314B2.
Over the last 15 years several major manufacturers have already cut their teeth on this one, which is why there is practically no internal compressed RAW recording on any camera - except for Canon, who we believe were able to strike a special patent deal with RED, Blackmagic, who claim special status for their BRAW, and now the Nikon Z9, which since April has offered an N-Raw option. The thought at the time was that Nikon must also have some sort of agreement with RED, but that is obviously not the case.
Nikon Z9 with internal RAW recording - a thorn in RED&s side.
Now the answer of the Nikon lawyers to the RED statement of claim has found its way onto the Internet and lo and behold: Nikon defends itself categorically. Nikon does not consider any valid and enforceable claim based on the patents listed in the statement of claim to be infringed, as these are simply not enforceable due to "inequitable conduct".
Nikon disputes the validity of the RED patents with the argument that they were applied for too late at the time and therefore should not have been granted. Nikon points out that RED already offered a camera for pre-order at the NAB 2006, in which the codec technology in question was integrated, but let more than a year pass before a patent application was filed. In Nikon&s view, the patent application, which was not filed until after the expiration of the specified one-year period, was therefore wrongly granted, since the patent office had no information that the technology had already been implemented and offered for pre-sale.
Furthermore, Nikon denies that RED has a right to injunctive relief, since - even if there was a patent infringement - the company did not suffer any damage, let alone irreparable damage.
We are very curious to see whether or to what extent the court will share Nikon&s argumentation. So far, to our knowledge, RED patents have been challenged on a different basis, by trying to prove that there was no infringement or that RED in turn infringed patents itself.
In any case, should this new approach be successful, not only would Nikon be able to maintain its new professional video claim, but sooner rather than later we would certainly see internal RAW in other cameras as well.