Kodak sues Fujifilm

Patent wars escalate


Kodak has issued its latest lawsuit against rival camera manufacturer Fujifilm, which it suggests is infringing several of its patents.

The lawsuit was filed in the US on Friday, with the claims suggesting that Fujifilm has infringed five separate Kodak patents which relate to different aspects of capturing, storing, previewing and transmitting images.

It apparently comes after several years of failed negotiations with Fujifilm, which ended up suing Kodak itself back in October for patent infringement.

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Kodak and Fujifilm are old rivals, dating from analogue film times when both were giants of the industry in the US and Japan respectively.

However, while Fujifilm has maintained a good position in the digital market, most recently experiencing success with its X range of digital cameras, Kodak has faced increasing woes and has resorted to selling off patents and launching several lawsuits to raise extra cash.

Kodak says that the patents in the Fujifilm case have been licensed to more than 30 other companies, including mobile phone manufacturers such as Motorola, Samsung, LG and Nokia.

Share prices in Kodak once again fell following the latest lawsuit announcement, by around 22.3 per cent. Stocks are now worth around 52 cents each.

Rumours have been circulating for months that Kodak is about to file for bankruptcy. It also emerged last week that Kodak is filing a digital imaging patent claim against Apple.

via Bloomberg Businessweek