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Imerge's logo. Click here to visit the Imerge Consulting website! Report: Imerge Analysis of Kodak Patent Suit!
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(Monday, March 5, 2001 - 11:34 EST)

This press release just in from our friend Ron Tussy, at Imerge Consulting Group. (Ron's one of the leading analysts in the industry, so this updated report of his should be of great interest to other manufacturers.)

Original Source Press Release:

New Imerge Consulting Group Worldwide Consumer Digital Camera Forecast Report Identifies and Analizes Digital Camera Patents Kodak Intends to Enforce Against Sanyo Electric Co., Seiko Epson Corp., Agfa-Gevaert N.V. and their U.S. Subsidiaries and Possibly Others...

Belmont, CA. 3-2-01 -- On February 23, Eastman Kodak dropped a bombshell that is being heard around the world in the consumer digital camera and online photo sharing industries by indicating that they would enforce, if necessary 24 patents related to online photo sharing and digital camera technology. Kodak filed a federal lawsuit charging Sanyo Electric Co., Seiko Epson Corp., Agfa-Gevaert N.V. and their U.S. subsidiaries with infringing on five of these 24 patents specifically related to the design and functionality of digital cameras.

"These patents and alleged infringements, some going back as far as 1981 will reverberate through this industry like nothing we have seen over the past five years. Billions of dollars are at stake ," states Ron Tussy, Principal Analyst of Imerge Consulting Group.

"We've had a chance to analyze these five patents and they are very, very tight and in one way or another effect every single digital camera vendor in the industry. Our new report describes in detail these patents and analyzes their potential impact on each vendor in the consumer digital camera market sector and we provide a section dedicated to the potential impact of this enormous event that is currently transpiring."

"Sanyo, Seiko Epson and Agfa were singled out in the lawsuit most likely because they were holdouts and are not currently in negotiations with Kodak. Olympus had something to trade, their lens technology that Kodak needed. Kodak does not own patents on lens technology specifically related to digital cameras that require a unique construction. We believe Sony, Nikon, Canon and other top-tier vendors were not mentioned in the federal lawsuit because they are currently in negotiations with Kodak."

"We also believe this is a shot across the bow of Taiwanese digital camera manufacturers who were about to become price leaders in the low-end as two of the three vendors named in the suit utilize Taiwanese manufacturing and a U.S. chipset designer" states Tussy. "Kodak now has leverage over every single digital camera vendor that it will try to turn into a revenue stream. We cannot overstate the broad impact this will have on the worldwide digital camera industry. These licensing fees may be high enough to push vendors with low margins out of business. We'll just have to see how it all shakes out."


The definitive new consumer digital camera report from Imerge Consulting Group LLC also asserts that U.S. consumer digital camera sales cooled from 79.3% unit growth in 1999 to 51.4% in 2000 with 3.8 million in units sold through, generating over $1.8 billion in street revenue. Imerge's new report, The Worldwide Digital Camera Forecast and Market Overview, 2000 - 2005 is now available at the Imerge Consulting web site.

As part of our ongoing effort to provide affordable market research to the sector we serve, we are offering a post PMA, one-time discount of 30% off the normal cost of this dynamic, 80 page, full color report until March 15, 2001. For U.S. based customers the new discounted price is $2,500 USD plus $28 USD shipping and handling. For offshore customers, the cost will be $2,500 USD plus $48 USD shipping and handling. Requests for this report can be submitted by calling 650-631-5737 or emailing tussy@ix.netcom.com or evensen@ix.netcom.com or by visiting our web site at www.imergeconsulting.com.

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