Kodak sues Sanyo, Seiko, Agfa over imaging patents! (UPDATED)|
(Thursday, March 1, 2001 - 13:24 EST)
Eastman Kodak begins to enforce imaging patents, takes three digicam manufacturers to US District Courts...
Eastman Kodak Co. has taken three of its digital camera competitors to court alleging patent infringement, an item in the Rochester, NY-based 'Democrat and Chronicle' newspaper reports. The company charges that Sanyo Electric Co., Seiko Epson Corp., Agfa-Gevaert N.V. and their U.S. subsidiaries have violated its patents on red-eye reduction, image file compression and methods of interacting with computer storage devices...
Kodak has requested U.S. District Judge Michael A. Telesca to find its patents valid, order the three companies to stop infringing on them, and award damages which the Democrat and Chronicle notes would be tripled under federal law.
Thanks to Paul Worthington of the Future Image Report, who is quoted in the Democrat and Chronicle's news item, for bringing this news to our attention... Future Image predicted that Kodak would begin to more strongly enforce their patent portfolio when the company announced an agreement to cross-license its patents with those of Olympus on February 13th, and it seems their prediction was correct.
Kodak very much stands to gain with careful enforcement of its patent portfolio, if the patents stand up to scrutiny in the courts. Paul notes that ongoing re-usage of images generates money, and with so many valuable patents we agree that the company likely wants to persuade other manufacturers to sign up with it as a preferred online photofinisher, leading photofinishing dollars to the company's doorstep. Equally, even if other companies don't want to take this route, Kodak stands to benefit from a significant flow of revenue from licensing fees on its patents, once digital cameras have truly become the mainstream with the buying public.
UPDATED 2001-03-02 12:51ET: The Reuters news item on this has now hit the wires...
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle website
Paul Worthington, Future Image Report
for this item!