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This patent, US 6831556 B1, basically says that these guys are entitled to be the only company who can package off-the-shelf video and audio recording devices with cameras in a police car and market it as such. That is ludicrous and it makes me wonder how a patent is acquired for such non-sense.

I am not a competitor but a consumer and received a letter from this company (patent holder) who essentially markets their system by threatening consumers with patent infringement if they buy a competitors product instead of theirs. When I looked to verify the patent, I was confused and amazed that such a patent could even be acquired.

They sent a nice but passive aggressive cover letter with their catalog saying that they heard we may be in the market for such systems and, oh, by the way, you may want to consider buying from us because we will sue the heck out of you if you buy from someone else. Effectively saying, "We are the only people who can legally pair a camera, microphone, and digital recorder together as a system inside a cop car."

And, the company doesn't even manufacture any of those products, AND, they are not the first people to have done it. This thing came about after the year 2000. I know cops who were putting cameras in cop cars in the 80's.

Claim 1

A surveillance system for an emergency response vehicle, comprising:

a device for capturing at least two of video, audio, and data information, said device provided in the emergency response vehicle, and

a server for digitally integrating the captured information into one data stream and storing the data stream in the emergency response vehicle, wherein said server is operative to transfer the data stream from the emergency response vehicle to a second location.

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Most patents are new combinations and new interconnections of old things. Being able to implement something with off-the-shelf parts is not relevant to patentablity. Ease or difficulty of implementation, in general, is not relevant to patentablity. –  George White Mar 28 at 19:17
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1 Answer 1

in order to infringe, a system must due/comprise the following as claimed,
1. A surveillance system for an emergency response vehicle, comprising: a device for capturing at least two of video, audio, and data information, said device provided in the emergency response vehicle, and a server for digitally integrating the captured information into one data stream and storing the data stream in the emergency response vehicle, wherein said server is operative to transfer the data stream from the emergency response vehicle to a second location.

you as a user in most cases are not going to be a infringer, it is usually the maker of that product.

side note: claimed invention is pretty narrow.

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Yes - the video data from multiple video sources, multiple audio sources and some data stream into a single stream AND send the data out of the car and store it in the car. –  George White Mar 28 at 19:14
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