January 04, 2007

It was announced on Wednesday that Eastman Kodak Company and Sony Corporation settled a long-standing patent dispute involving nearly two dozen issued patents issued over the last 20 years. Kodak and Sony entered into a cross-license agreement allowing both companies access to the patents in suit, and according to the BusinessWeek article (link below), Kodak “also said it has signed a cross-license agreement with cell-phone maker Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, a joint venture of Sweden's LM Ericsson and Sony, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company.” Kodak is reportedly receiving royalties on both agreements. This dispute began in March of 2004 when Kodak filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Rochester alleging Sony’s infringement of ten of its digital image patents, which was followed by a counter-suit by Sony alleging Kodak’s infringement of ten of its own patents on related digital camera technologies. An interesting historical tidbit is also provided in the BusinessWeek article, noting that Kodak “created the world's first digital camera in December 1975 -- an 8-pound, toaster-size contraption that captured a black-and-white image on a digital cassette tape at a resolution of .01 megapixels.”

BusinessWeek Article: LINK
Kodak Press Release: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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