The SD Association recently added “Wireless LAN SD” to its standards — and now Eye-Fi, the company that developed and markets the eponymous WiFi-transmitting SD card, alleges the standard infringes its intellectual property.
SD Association says its standard “can transform millions of everyday consumer electronics into wireless LAN devices with portable storage and communications… Consumers will be able to transfer pictures, videos and other content wirelessly from most existing digital cameras and digital video cameras to web-based cloud services and between SD devices over home networks.”
Of course, that also sounds like a description of the products Eye-Fi has been marketing for years. And the company responded to the SDA’s announcement by stating in no uncertain terms “essential Eye-Fi patented technology would be violated by anyone implementing this draft specification.”
In a post on the company’s blog page, Eye-Fi CEO Yuval Koren writes, “Several years ago, Eye-Fi’s founding team realized that capturing photos or video is just the beginning, and that in an increasingly connected world, the true magic is in sharing,” Koren says. “We invested tens of millions of dollars and several years to create unique technology that lets people wirelessly transfer photos and videos directly from their camera and mobile devices.”
Furthermore, Koren states the SD Association’s announcement portrayed the draft Wireless LAN specification as an adopted new standard — which is “a flat out misrepresentation. As a matter of fact, under the SDA’s own rules, this was not possible. SDA members — and we are one — are allowed 60 days in which to respond with claims to patented intellectual property and plans around licensing that IP to the SDA. Should essential IP be presented during this process, and not offered for license, the SDA should revise the specification and begin the review cycle again. After this process, the SDA Executive Members have to vote on adopting the specification. Not only has the membership’s intellectual property disclosure window not closed, the Executive Members have also yet to vote on its adoption.”
Eye-Fi says it has disclosed its intellectual property to the SDA, “detailing multiple patents essential to the current SDA draft specification.”