Digimedia Tech LLC has recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nikon. The company alleges that Nikon has appropriated three of its patents, which have been implemented in Coolpix P900 and A1000.
According to the lawsuit, Digimedia Tech is “the owner by assignment of all right, title, and interest in and to” three different patents:
- United States Patent No. 6,914,635, entitled “Microminiature Zoom System for Digital Camera” (“the ‘635 patent”). This patent is concerned with “zoom, autofocus, and other features to increasingly compact digital cameras,” the lawsuit reads, as well as anti-shake and image stabilization technology.
- United States Patent No. 6,545,706, entitled “System, Method and Article of `Manufacture for Tracking a Head of a Camera-Generated Image of a Person” (“the ‘706 patent”). It refers to identifying a head in an image, so I believe this is related with face detection. Judging from the lawsuit, the application that became the ‘706 patent was filed way back on 30 July 1999. In April 2008, the USPTO issued the ‘706 patent.
- United States Patent No. 7,715,476, entitled “System, Method and Article of Manufacture for Tracking a Head of a Camera-Generated Image of a Person” (“the ‘476 patent”). Similar to the ‘706 patent, this one is also concerned with “technical problem of how to identify a head in an image.”
Digimedia Tech claims that Nikon has infringed its patents by using them in Coolpix P900 and A1000. For this alleged patent infringement, the company seeks damages that “cannot be less than a reasonable royalty.” It’s not clear how much money Nikon will have to pay if they lose in court, but I guess we still have to see how this ends.
[via Nikon Rumors]