Thursday, January 04, 2007

Kodak, Sony settle digital camera litigation

Settlements reported January 3, 2007 between Kodak and Sony resolve lawsuits dating to March 2004, when Kodak sued Sony for violating its digital camera patents, Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo said. Tokyo-based Sony countersued, alleging infringement of a variety of patents, and Kodak filed a counterclaim, he said.

Kodak had accused Sony's electronics unit of infringement of claims of patents related to digital cameras. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Rochester, asserted Sony infringed 10 patents issued between 1987 and 2003, including ones for image compression and storage. It targeted a range of digital still and video cameras. Sony filed two suits in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, one of which was consolidated with Kodak's suit in New York.

No money was paid under the settlement agreements, Kodak said in a filing Jan. 3.

[from Boomberg]

Ben Dobbin reported: The agreements, signed Friday [Dec. 29], are royalty bearing to Kodak, the company said, but further financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The deal "essentially tells me that Kodak more or less won," said Ulysses Yannas, a broker with investment firm Buckman, Buckman & Reid in New York. "It means you collect some money up front and then you keep getting royalties on the use of your technology."

Dobbin also noted: [Kodak] is currently exploring a partnership, an outright sale or other options for its 111-year-old health imaging business. The unit accounted for nearly one-fifth of Kodak's overall sales of $14.3 billion in 2005.

There have been many patent infringement cases filed in the digital camera area (for example, here) but separately Kodak has worked on settling patent litigations (for example, here).


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