Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/12/2010
10:29 AM
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Kodak, Samsung End Patent Dispute

The settlement could lead to improved cameras in Samsung mobile phones.

Eastman Kodak and Samsung have entered into a cross licensing agreement that ends a digital camera patent dispute.

Kodak will collect royalties in the agreement, which "provides significant benefits to both companies," Kodak and Samsung said in a statement issued Monda by Kodak. No other financial details were disclosed.

As a result of the deal, the companies have asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to drop pending patent infringement proceedings. The companies are alos dropping pending lawsuits in U.S. and German courts. The licensing agreement takes effect upon approval by the ITC, which is expected at the end of the month.

Kodak filed the first claim with the U.S. International Trade Commission, accusing Samsung of infringing on Kodak's digital camera patents. The company was seeking a limited exclusion order preventing Samsung from importing infringing devices such as mobile phones.

"We are pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial arrangement that advances the interests of Kodak and Samsung and which validates the strength of Kodak's intellectual property portfolio," Laura G. Quatela, chief intellectual property officer for Kodak, said.

The settlement could lead to improved cameras in Samsung mobile phones. The company is the second-largest handset maker and picture-taking capabilities are increasingly become important differentiators in the handset market.

Sony Ericsson, for example, is hoping to boost its share in the U.S. market by introducing better cameras in its handsets. Apple touts the boosted camera capabilities in its latest iPhone as a differentiator. While it only packs a 3.2-megapixel lens, the iPhone 3GS can record video and has touch-to-focus capabilities.

Kodak and Samsung announced last month that they had agreed to negotiate a settlement in the patent dispute.

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