Inventor Richard W. Bloomstein, a suburban Chicago computer consultant, contends he spent 15 years developing the process that allows filmmakers to alter the lip movement and facial expressions of historical figures to match newly dubbed in dialogue.
He sued Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, contending that Paramount Pictures Corp. and LucasFilm Ltd. used his process without obtaining permission.
Paramount spokeswoman Cheryl Boone Isaacs said Tuesday the film company denies violating any patent laws and vowed to fight the lawsuit. LucasFilm also believes Bloomstein's claims are baseless and will fight the lawsuit, said spokeswoman Ellen Pasternack.
The lawsuit contends that LucasFilm's operating unit, Industrial Light and Magic, used Bloomstein's process, patented in 1986 and 1989, ``in creating one of the most noteworthy special effects in the movie.''
The film is nominated for Oscars for best picture, best cinematography, film editing and visual effects, among other categories.
In it, Gump is made to appear in archival footage of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon and Beatle John Lennon.
``Bloomstein's technique greatly expanded the potential for creating striking and realistic effects in movies,'' said Jan Feldman, one of his attorneys.
Bloomstein chose to sue after discussions with lawyers for the film companies failed to resolve the dispute, his lawyers said.
This material is copyrighted and may not be republished without permission of the originating newspaper or wire service. NewsHound is a service of the San Jose Mercury News. For more information call 1-800-818-NEWS.