Walt Disney Co. has lost a federal court challenge to the sale of 3-D conversion technology used in its films “G-Force” and “Alice In Wonderland” – a development that could complicate future conversions of its feature films.
The Burbank media and entertainment conglomerate argued in U.S. District Court in Delaware that it had a license to use the conversion technology developed by In-Three Inc. and sold last year to RealD Inc. of Beverly Hills.
But U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson ruled in an Oct. 1 memorandum that Disney had not followed a two-step process to obtain a license for the conversion technology as set out in an agreement with In-Three.
“Having never exercised the option under the Agreement, Disney may not now claim that it has rights to the patents at issue that have survived the sale of such to RealD,” Robinson wrote in her memorandum.
In-Three, formerly of Westlake Village, was acquired in late 2010 by Digital Domain Media Group, the visual effects firm co-founded by director James Cameron. The sale of the conversion technology followed Digital Domain filing for bankruptcy in September 2012.
The case landed before Robinson after Disney appealed an order confirming that Digital Domain could sell the conversion technology. Due to her decision, Disney would presumably have to reach a licensing agreement with RealD in order to use the technology.