(Adds Matsushita comment)
NEW YORK, July 27 Eastman Kodak Co. EK.N said
on Friday it is suing Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial
Co.(6752.T), alleging that the maker of Panasonic brand
consumer electronics infringed Kodak's digital camera patents.
According to the suit, which also names as defendants
Panasonic Corp. of North America, Victor Co. of Japan 6792.T
and JVC America, the infringed patents include ones for an
"electronic camera utilizing image compression and digital
storage" and "an apparatus and method for previewing motion
images using a series of lower resolution still images."
Matsushita is the majority owner of JVC, whose official
name is Victor Co. of Japan.
Kodak filed the suit on July 25 in the Eastern District of
Texas. It has requested a jury trial and damages.
"Matsushita Electric is aware of the suit but has not been
served yet," said a spokesman for Matsushita Electric at its
New Jersey office. "Not having had the opportunity to study the
documents, we are not able to comment on it."
Earlier this year, Kodak signed a cross-licensing pact with
Sony Corp. (6758.T) that settled a similar patent dispute.
Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo said the Rochester, New
York-based company has had talks with Matsushita, but no
agreement has been reached.
"We have attempted to resolve the matter...for a number of
years, but the discussions have not led to a suitable licensing
agreement," he said.
Kodak, which is in the last year of a lengthy and expensive
transformation into a digital photography company as its film
business shrinks, has said it intends to lean on its wealth of
intellectual property to help boost its bottom line.
It expects up to $250 million this year alone in royalties
and related revenues.
(Reporting by Franklin Paul)