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Philips sues Kodak over imaging patent

Dutch company Philips Electronics Wednesday said it sued Eastman Kodak Co. claiming several of Kodak's cameras infringe on a patent related to the compression of digital images.
/ Source: Reuters

Dutch company Philips Electronics Wednesday said it sued Eastman Kodak Co., claiming several of Kodak’s cameras infringe on a patent related to the compression of digital images.

A Kodak spokesman said the Rochester, New York-based company would defend itself “vigorously” in the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware. Representatives from both companies declined to discuss financial details of the litigation.

Philips said the patent was issued in 1990, and that it has contributed significantly to the compression technology used in products such as DVD players, medical scanners and digital still cameras, spokesman Andre Manning said.

The patent is related to technology used to compress the large amount of information needed for digital images into JPEG, one of the most widely-used image file formats in computing, he added. Philips had already licensed its technology to most players in the digital still camera market, such as Sony Corp. and Canon Inc. and many mobile phone makers.

“Philips unsuccessfully tried to negotiate and enter into licenses with Kodak for a long time. As a last resort, Philips decided to sue Kodak for patent infringement,” Manning said.