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Friday, July 27, 2007
Kodak Sues Matsushita Over Digital Camera Patents

Eastman Kodak sued Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., 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, Victor, and JVC Americas. Matsushita owns all of Panasonic and a majority stake in Victor, which makes the JVC brand.

"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 in a suit that was settled in January.

Kodak, which popularized film cameras, licenses technology to camera makers, such as Olympus and Sanyo Electric Co. It gets royalties from Sony as part of the patent settlement.

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