Kodak Sues LG, Samsung Over Camera Patents

Eastman Kodak Co., which has increasingly turned to its patent portfolio in search of profit, said it sued Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Co., accusing them of infringing Kodak patents in the design of camera phones.

Kodak has reached licensing deals with most rival makers of digital cameras as well as most makers of camera phones. Earlier this year it announced an agreement with Nokia Corp.

Kodak said the patents cover technology related to capturing images, data compression and storage, and a method for previewing motion images.

A Kodak spokesman said the Rochester, N.Y., company had negotiated with Samsung and LG, both of which are based in Seoul, but hadn’t been able to reach an agreement.

“Our digital-camera technology is different from the one used by Kodak. We haven’t infringed upon Kodak’s related patents,” said LG Electronics spokesman Choi Jun-hyuk. “We’ll actively deal with the case.”

Samsung spokeswoman Hae Won Choi said: “Samsung is committed to protecting and respecting intellectual-property rights. The company forbids infringement and unauthorized use of such intellectual property. Samsung plans to respond actively to this litigation and will remain committed to serving our customers by ensuring that accurate and reliable delivery of our products is not compromised in any way.”

Kodak said it filed suit in U.S. District Court in Rochester and filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission. Kodak said it is seeking undisclosed damages and an injunction prohibiting Samsung and LG from importing and selling any infringing products.

Kodak’s chief executive, Antonio Perez, has pursued licensing revenue to help the company recover from years of huge losses.

Mr. Perez has told investors that Kodak receives between $250 million and $350 million a year in revenue from its intellectual-property portfolio. That contributes a significant portion of Kodak’s income.

—In-Soo Nam contributed to this article.

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