RED Takes Legal Action Against Nikon Over RAW Patents


RED Takes Legal Action Against Nikon Over RAW Patents

RED has recently filed a lawsuit against Nikon, accusing the Japanese company of infringing their infamous compressed RAW patent. According to the American company, the addition of internal RAW formats to the Nikon Z 9 deliberately emulates their compression technology.

A few weeks ago, we were pretty excited to report about the release of firmware V2.0 for the Nikon Z 9. Officially available for download since April 20th, the update adds the ability to internally record 12-bit N-RAW up to 8.3K60 and even ProRes RAW HQ up to 4.1K60. However, it looks like the party is (almost) over.

Indeed, RED has recently filed a lawsuit against the Japanese company for infringing their infamous compressed RAW patent. Its not clear whether the two companies will end up in court and/or Nikon will have to remove the long-awaited RAW formats from the Z 9. What’s certain is that the battle is now open.

Nikon Z 9. Source: Nikon

RED sues Nikon for adding RAW video formats to the Z 9

History tends to repeat itself. In fact, it’s not the first time that RED takes legal action against competitors for infringing its own video compression patents. In recent times, Kinefinity was forced to remove CinemaDNG from their cameras. They also gave up on the development of their own KRW2.0 codec. Moreover, for the same reason ProRes RAW never made it to the DJI Ronin 4D, although this feature had been previously announced by the manufacturer.

RED’s lawsuit. Source: www.docketalarm.com

The addition of internal N-RAW (which is based on intoPix’s TicoRAW) and ProRes RAW recording had been known since the initial release of the Nikon Z 9. Although the announcement was quite surprising, we initially thought the company had found a smart workaround to circumvent RED’s patent. Apparently, this brave attempt has failed.

RED V-RAPTOR. Source: RED

Good or bad for the industry?

Sure, business is business and the American company rightfully protects its own inventions. However, to me personally it looks like this constant long-term battle is not only limiting RED’s competitors, but it’s somehow slowing down the whole industry a little bit.

On the other hand, this situation forces companies to come up with ingenious solutions to overcome challenges imposed by intellectual property, just like Atomos and Blackmagic Design did with their ProRes RAW ecosystem and BRAW format respectively.

Featured image credit: photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Did you have the chance to shoot N-RAW or ProRes RAW on the Nikon Z 9? What do you think of RED’s approach in regard to their compressed RAW patent? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!



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