Kodak wins in patent dispute with Ricoh, and Nikon goes after Polaroid
posted Monday, October 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM EDT
The world of legal battles between camera companies is a murky one. Between technology patents, similar looking and sounding cameras, and all sorts of licensing, it can be difficult to keep track of who owns what, and who owes what to whom. But recently, a number of companies have become involved in courtroom battles for an array of technologies.
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Ricoh has agreed to pay Kodak $76 million in a patent battle. Kodak alleged that when Ricoh purchased Pentax in 2011, they owed back royalties since Pentax had never licensed the imaging technology from Kodak. Ricoh said there was no evidence of Pentax having violated Kodak copyright. However, it seems that now Ricoh has agreed to pay out $75.8 million over the issue. A Kodak spokesperson talked to Amateur Photographer, and said "‘Kodak is gratified that both the judge and jury have validated our contract claim. These decisions certainly also demonstrate the value of the technology that Kodak created.'
While that lawsuit is ending, another is just getting under way. Remember the unexpected (and slightly bizarre) Polaroid mirrorless camera, the iM1836 manufactured by Sakar? Nikon is filing a lawsuit "for design patent and trade dress infringement". The company alleges that the Sakar/Polaroid camera for looking too similar to Nikon products. And looking at the comparison below (via Engadget), you have to admit it's a dead ringer for the Nikon J1. According to the press release, "Nikon seeks injunctive relief against Sakar in the lawsuit to prevent them from manufacturing and selling their Polaroid brand digital still camera, "Polaroid iM1836"." The iM1836 has popped up on Amazon recently, where it's being widely disparaged, despite not yet having shipped.