Salt Lake City-based ClearPlay Inc., the maker of software that edits sex and violence from movies on DVDs, has sued a Florida company it said bullied Target Corp. into removing products from store shelves just before the holiday season began.
Nissim Corp., a closely held company in Boca Raton, Fla., contends ClearPlay is violating the terms of a 2005 patent-infringement suit settlement. Target stopped selling ClearPlay DVD players Nov. 2 after Nissim threatened to sue the retailer, according to ClearPlay's complaint, filed Dec. 7 in federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla.
"We're missing out on a boatload of money we would have made at Target," ClearPlay's lawyer David Wood said in a phone interview.
ClearPlay said it is the biggest maker of parental filtering technology for DVD players. The company seeks at least $1 million in damages. Wood said it is unknown how much money ClearPlay has lost so far in the holiday shopping season.
ClearPlay accused Nissim of interfering with its contract to provide products to Target, the second-largest U.S. discount chain, as well as its ability to sign other contracts.
Nissim in June reopened the patent suit, asking a court to force ClearPlay to enforce the terms of the agreement. In a news release, Nissim said the ClearPlay products don't comply with standards set under the settlement. Wood says ClearPlay is complying with the agreement.
Nissim lawyer John Carey did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
ClearPlay makes software that works with specific DVD players. Customers buy the players and download the software that lets them filter the content of movies.
As part of the settlement with Nissim, ClearPlay was forced to stop selling DVD machines that incorporated the company's software. Those machines were sold at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the biggest discount retailer.
The company was allowed to sell its products without fear of copyright-infringement litigation after Congress passed a law in 2005 clearing the company's software from such claims and forcing the dismissal of a lawsuit by the studios and directors.