Billboard Insider By Staff Writer October 26, 2016
Who is T-Rex? T-Rex Property AB was founded in 2003 by Mats Hylin, Mats Dahlgren and Fredrik Persson. The company acquired 12 patents for outdoor advertising products.T-Rex Property AB has been suing outdoor companies who use a computer to control digital signs. T-Rex owns US Patent Number RE39,470 titled Digital Information System and that the patent relates to the use of a computer to remotely control electronic devices including digital signs.
Who Has T-Rex Sued? Since 2012 T-Rex Property AB has filed 59 lawsuits relating to patent infringement. T-Rex started out suing outdoor advertising companies which operated large digital billboards. T-Rex has expanded lawsuits to include Cinemark and AMC (which run advertising on movie theater screens) as well as the owners of digital sign networks in shopping malls and health clubs, You can see a list of the lawsuits here.
What Do The Lawsuits Say? The lawsuits state that the billboard or digital sign company using a computer to remotely control digital signs is infringing T-Rex’s patent and request that the court award damages to T-Rex for the infringement. T-Rex then threatens to proceed with a jury trial unless the billboard company or sign manufacturer settle.
Who’s fought back? In June 2016 Broadsign filed a countersuit against T-Rex on behalf of 5 Broadsign customers who have been sued by T-Rex. Broadsign is challenging the validity of T-Rex’s patents and has requested a jury trial. The case has not yet gone to trial.
Are You At Risk Of A Lawsuit? Not if you’ve bought a sign from Watchfire, Daktronics or Formetco because those three manufacturers have settled with T-Rex so that all users of their products are indemnified from litigation. If you use anyone else’s digitl signs you are at risk of a lawsuit. T-Rex has begun suing billboard companies which use Samsung digital signs. Insider expects T-Rex to continue suing operators who use products from sign companies who haven’t settled.
What Should You Do? Nothing if your digital sign was made by Watchfire, Daktronics or Formetco. You are protected from a lawsuit. Otherwise you should talk with your sign rep to understand what your manufacturer will do to protect you if you get sued. Insider wouldn’t buy a digital sign from a manufacturer which hadn’t settled with T-Rex unless he was indemnified by the manufacturer from all costs of defending a lawsuit.