Fujifilm and Eastman Kodak Tangle over Digital Camera Patents

Fujifilm and Eastman Kodak Tangle over Digital Camera Patents


Tokyo, Japan—Fujifilm Corporation is suing Eastman Kodak over alleged infringements of digital camera patents, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Tokyo-based Fujifilm is suing Kodak over four specific digital camera patents after talks between the two companies were unsuccessful, according to a complaint filed October 14, 2011 in federal court in Manhattan. Kodak manufactured and sold products in the U.S., including the EasyShare C340 and EasyShare M530 digital cameras, that Fujifilm claims violate their patents and is seeking damages and a jury trial.

This is the most recent legal battle between the two imaging companies, who tangled over unfair trade practices throughout the 1990s in cases heard before the U.S. International Trade Commission and the World Trade Organization. This new case comes out a time when it is widely known that Kodak is exploring strategic alternatives related to its digital imaging patent portfolios.

Kodak’s portfolio includes more than 1,100 U.S. patents pertaining to capturing, processing, storing, organizing, editing, and sharing digital images, as well as imaging monetization applications. This past summer, Laura G. Quatela, Kodak’s general counsel and a senior vice president, stated, “Given recent trends in the marketplace for intellectual property, we believe the time is right to explore smart, opportunistic alternatives for our digital imaging patent portfolios. This effort reaffirms our commitment to the three pillars of our intellectual property strategy—design freedom, access to new markets and partnerships, and cash generation.”