Kodak, the world’s largest photography company, has accused Panasonic and JVC of stealing its technolgy and is now sueing claiming infringement of four U.S. patents on digital-camera technology.
Matsushita, the world’s biggest maker of consumer electronics, is using Kodak’s inventions without permission, Kodak said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Tyler, Texas. Also sued were Panasonic and JVC – Matsushita owns all of Panasonic and a majority stake in JVC.
“Kodak has been damaged by the infringement” and wants cash compensation, according to the complaint. It’s also seeking a court order to block further use of its technology.
Kodak, based in Rochester, New York, claims that digital cameras made by the companies are using Kodak inventions patented between 1991 and 2001 for image compression, storage, color sensors and previews. The patents are among those Kodak used against Sony Corp. in a suit that was settled in January.
“Matsushita Electric is aware of the suit but we have not been served yet,” said Matsushita spokesman Jim Reilly. “We haven’t had an opportunity to study it and so cannot comment.”
Kodak, which popularized film cameras, licenses technology to camera makers, such as Olympus Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. It gets royalties from Sony as part of the patent settlement.