Movie Studios Win ‘Printless Previews’ Patent Litigation

Movie studios and a company called Printless Previews had been in litigation over film editing patent since 2005.

Movie studios have won litigation over the way they edit movies, the MPAA said Monday.

The litigation stretches back to a 2005 lawsuit that a company called Printless Previews filed against a number of movie studios and post production houses.

At the time, Printless Previews said the studios and post houses were violating the company's patent about "methods of previewing and editing motion pictures."

The studios responded by saying the patent should not have been granted in the first place — that it covered "obvious" processes and was invalid. They asked the Patent and Trademark Office to revisit and reject the patent, which it did in 2007 and 2008.

In 2010, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences ruled that the Patent and Trademark Office was right to reject Printless Previews' patent.

Printless Previews appealed that decision to a federal appellate court which, on March 8, upheld the Patent Appeals' decision.

Also read: Anonymous Hackers Shut Down DOJ, MPAA Websites

Now that there's no patent for the studios to violate, the case is over.

"We are pleased that the Federal Circuit (Court) has affirmed the Patent Office's thoughtful decision rejecting Printless Previews' patent," Dan Robbins, MPAA's senior vice president and associate general counsel, said in a statement. "While the MPAA and its members are strong supporters of intellectual property rights, that support does not extend to the assertion of clearly invalid patents like the one involved here.

"Our victory should send a strong message to other patent holders and companies intending to assert suspect patents against us that we will use all appropriate means to defeat them."

The MPAA represents represents the six major Hollywood studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Paramount Pictures Corp., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Universal City Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment.