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.