ClearPlay Accused of Patent Violation for DVD Filtering

ClearPlay Accused of Patent Violation for DVD Filtering

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Florida-based Nissim Corp. has filed suit against ClearPlay Inc., alleging the Salt Lake firm's technology for filtering violence, sex and language on DVDs violates four patents held by the Boca Raton company.

The action was filed May 13 in U.S. District Court in Miami.

Lee Jarman, who with his brother Matt founded ClearPlay, said Thursday the company denies all the allegations and is in the process of preparing a response to the lawsuit.

Company spokeswoman Sarah Johansen said, "ClearPlay's technology is significantly different from Nissim's. The company has previously researched these claims and is comfortable that there is no infringement."

Specifically, Nissim claims the patents include "multiple features ... incorporated in all consumer electronic products capable of playing digital video discs."

It claims that ClearPlay's personal computer software filtering program, and more recently, its line of DVD players incorporating that technology, violate Nissim patents.

ClearPlay's technology embeds movie-specific filtering files that instruct the player where to cut out unwanted violence and sexual content, or mute foul language. The players come with filters for 100 popular movies pre-installed; for $4.95 per month, or $49 a year, customers can download and install hundreds more, including new filters sent out as movies are released.

In its suit, Nissim contends the Jarmans had contacted it in 2000 concerning patents related to the Florida company's own CustomPlay-brand DVD applications. Nissim also claims it provided the Jarmans with a demonstration copy of CustomPlay.

Nissim seeks injunctive relief, legal fees and damages to be determined at trial.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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