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Kodak sues Panasonic for patent infringement

Unsatisfied with licensing negotiations, Kodak sues Panasonic and parent company Matsushita for patent infringement.

Eastman Kodak has sued Panasonic, claiming the Japanese company infringed four patents relating to digital cameras.

The suit, filed July 25 in U.S. Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas, targets Panasonic, its Japanese parent company, Matsushita Electric Industrial (MEI), and two Matsushita subsidiaries, Victor Company of Japan (JVC) and JVC Americas.

"Kodak has attempted to resolve the matter with MEI for a number of years. The discussions between the companies have not led to a suitable license agreement, so we have decided to file a complaint in order to protect the investment in technology that we make on behalf of our shareholders, and to protect the interests of other licensees," Kodak said in a statement.

The defendant so far isn't offering its version of events. "Matsushita Electric is aware of the suit but declines to comment," spokesman Jim Reilly said.

Kodak accused Matsushita of infringiung patents No. 5,016,107, "Electronic Still Camera Utilizing Image Compression and Digital Storage" from 1991; No. 5,164,831, "Electronic Still Camera Providing Multi-format Storage of Full and Reduced Resolution Images" from 1992; No. 5,493,335, "Single Sensor Color Camera With User-Selectable Image Record Size" from 1996; and No. 6,292,218, "Electronic Camera for Initiating Capture of Still Images while Previewing Motion Images" from 2001.