Biometric IP stolen on the way to patent protection, developer alleges
A biometrics coder is alleging sophisticated wrongdoing reportedly involving his software and the lawyer he hired to shepherd a facial recognition patent through the United States patent process.
A federal judge is hearing the case (2:23-cv-00417 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington) in which Don Carr, creator of FaceScope, accuses former business partners were awarded a patent related to Carr’s previous work without informing him.
According to legal trade publication Law360, FaceScope matches face images with those of people suspected of trespassing.
The defendants in this case are Stephen Pansini and Joshua Stivers – Carr’s ex-partners and former patent attorney John Houvener of Bold IP. Pansini, Stivers and Carr allegedly have been involved together in at least two companies, including Bluewave Technologies.
The primary accusation is that Pansini and Stivers got Houvener to drop Carr as a client and then convinced the attorney to put their names on Carr’s provisional patent application for facial recognition software. Then the pair reportedly went through the patent application process without citing Carr’s relevant work.
Ultimately, Pansini and Stivers, represented by Houvener, were awarded a patent before threatening Carr with a patent-infringement suit involving, reportedly, his own work.
Carr wants his name added as co-inventor to the patent and unspecified damages. Pansini and Stivers are accused of unjust enrichment and Houvener of breach of fiduciary duty.