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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 March, 2004, 18:09 GMT
Kodak sues Sony in patent row
Kodak website image
Talks over licensing deals broke down between the two rivals
Photography giant Eastman Kodak has filed a lawsuit against Japan's Sony alleging infringement of several of its digital camera patents.

Kodak is alleging that consumer electronics giant Sony used technology invented by Kodak.

This technology includes "electronic camera utilizing image compression and digital storage."

Kodak recently announced its strategy to rapidly transform itself into a "leader in the digital market".

Spokesman Gerald Meuchner for Kodak said the lawsuit follows the breakdown of talks between the two companies over a licensing agreement.

Digital rivals

The two rivals have been battling it out for market share in sales of digital cameras, which dispense with film and record images on computer chips instead.

For Kodak this has been a tough but necessary transition as it recovers from the decline of its film business.

The row with Sony concerns patents awarded to Kodak stretching back to 1991, with the most recent granted in 2003 for a gadget designed to capture and select digital images for printing.

"We have attempted to resolve the matter with Sony for almost three years, and the discussions between us have not led to a suitable licensing agreement," said Mr Meuchner.

Meanwhile, a Sony spokesman said he had only just become aware of the lawsuit and had no comment to make.

Kodak, based in Rochester, New York, where it pioneered the use of photographic film 100 years ago, has been facing weak profits and job cuts as it struggles to turn round its business.

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