DJI, the world’s leading maker of unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”) and camera technology, Friday filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Yuneec International Co. Ltd. and Yuneec USA, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

The complaint asserts that Yuneec’s products and technology infringe two DJI patents and seeks injunctive relief to halt the further sale of the infringing Yuneec products and systems.

DJI’s complaint alleges that Yuneec’s UAV products infringe one or more claims of DJI’s U.S. Patent Numbers 9,164,506, titled “Systems and methods for target tracking,” and 9,280,038, titled “Interchangeable Mounting Platform.”

DJI has invested a substantial amount of resources over the course of nearly a decade into the research and development of UAVs.  This investment has generated technology that is fundamental to the future of the UAV and related industrial applications.

DJI welcomes competition, but is committed to protecting its intellectual property. Friday’s filing is a response to safeguard that investment, to protect customers and partners and to promote genuine innovation in this promising area.

DJI holds hundreds of patents worldwide, including at least 30 issued in the U.S. and has at least 50 applications pending there. DJI offers state-of-the-art products and solutions for aerial photography, cinematography, remote tracking and monitoring, geological surveying, and many other commercial, personal, and industrial applications for professionals and hobbyists in the fields of journalism, filmmaking, emergency services, industrial equipment and road monitoring, and many others.

DJI is represented by the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.

Contact: Adam Lisberg, DJI North America Communications Director,

More comment and the full complaint here

Views: 2943

Comment by Gary McCray on April 1, 2016 at 1:22pm

From a casual perusing of the first patent, it looks like DJI has a patent that effectively covers ALL follow me type applications, likely even ones where the target has a GPS although that is subject to interpretation.

Judging from the number of competing patents with very similar claims it does not seem reasonable to me that this patent should ever have been issued.

It also seems to fly squarely in the face of many examples of existing practice that were present in public before this patent was ever filed.

It is basically a battle of big billions DJI trying to justify a bogus patent by taking on a smaller company that can't afford as many lawyers.

How very Apple of them.

Comment by Digital Wings on April 1, 2016 at 1:38pm
I love the picture!!!
Comment by Craig Issod on April 1, 2016 at 1:44pm

Not good for DJI PR and not good for the industry. DJI has every right to defend IP but doing it in a public way and trying to get injunctions is heavy handed. If they truly have rock solid IP they could negotiate and/or sue and eventually get royalties - Apple and all cell phone makes pay Qualcomm 3% or so on every product.

It is very "Apple" in that way. Steve Jobs felt strongly about his IP and I think Frank Wang does also - but bigwigs lose perspective when the billions pile up (IMHO). 

DJI is already winning in the marketplace. The odds that Yuneec stuff will be as good or better (in all aspects including price) seem low, so why not fight it out in the market? DJI should know that the entire industry would be better off with a few more serious RTF vendors instead of just 1 or 2.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 1, 2016 at 1:49pm

I wonder if any DJI skeletons will come out of the cupboard.

Comment by Olivier on April 1, 2016 at 3:11pm

Good luck, with Intel and RealSense being behind Yuneec's tracking ...

Comment by DG on April 1, 2016 at 3:34pm

I wonder if DJI will let everyone look at their flight code :)

There are patents for 200 mpg carburetors and perpetual motion devices that don't exist, and also UFO's. DJI is trying to monopolize on technology that already existed before they decided to attach it to a drone. 

Comment by Andrew Murphy on April 1, 2016 at 6:31pm


I've seen a lot of posts from this guy Jonathan Rupprecht on SUAS news, has anyone ever talked to him? I always wondered why he never had a presence on this website. Having someone well versed in Is regulation would be a good asset on this website for some of the legal questions people may have about operation/construction. Side note: please keep posting on SUAS, hilarious articles. 

Comment by benbojangles on April 1, 2016 at 9:11pm

China chasing patents? Well, I admire the Chutzpah!

Comment by MarioSpeedwagon on April 1, 2016 at 11:17pm

Meanwhile, 3DR....

Comment by Andrew Rabbitt on April 2, 2016 at 2:07am

After reading the claim, I'd be surprised there wasn't some form of prior art out there that will kill DJI's patent and ambitions stone dead.

What is claimed is:

1. A system for controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), comprising:
one or more receivers, individually or collectively, configured to receive from a remote user (1) one or more navigation commands to move the UAV along a flight path, and (2) target information of a target to be tracked by an imaging device on the UAV; and
one or more processors, individually or collectively, configured to track the target according to the target information by automatically adjusting at least one of the UAV or the imaging device while the UAV moves along the flight path according to the one or more navigation commands from the remote user, wherein the one or more processors, individually or collectively, make a determination to adjust 1) the UAV, 2) the imaging device, or 3) both the UAV and the imaging device, wherein said determination is dependent upon a) number of rotational axes of the imaging device and orientation of said rotational axes relative to the UAV; b) a navigation path of the UAV; or c) a maximum angular speed allowable for the UAV or the imaging device.


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