Nissim Corp. has filed a lawsuit against ClearPlay, alleging that the defendant's software -- which filters out scenes with violence, sex or foul language from films on DVD -- infringes on its patents

LOS ANGELES -- Nissim Corp. has filed a lawsuit against ClearPlay, alleging that the defendant's software -- which filters out scenes with violence, sex or foul language from films on DVD -- infringes on its patents.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based Nissim is the creator of CustomPlay software, which has functions that are similar to ClearPlay's software. Nissim filed the lawsuit May 13 in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida (case no. 04-21140).
Nissim also claims that new ClearPlay-enabled DVD players, manufactured by Thomson's RCA brand, infringe its patents. The players have been available at mass merchant retailers such as Wal-Mart since April.

"It is obvious that ClearPlay's product infringes Nissim's widely respected patents," says Nissim president/CEO Max Abecassis.

ClearPlay, which is based in Salt Lake City, did not return calls by deadline.

ClearPlay is also involved in a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in 2002. The plaintiffs, who include directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Steven Soderbergh, claim that ClearPlay's technology violates studio copyrights and misrepresents directors' finished films.

In December, ClearPlay filed a brief asking for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court in Colorado.

The lawsuit between ClearPlay and the DGA is now being investigated by the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, which is headed by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. At a hearing May 20, Smith said legislation allowing ClearPlay to be sold legally would be introduced if the two parties do not resolve their dispute.

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