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Caltech Suing Camera Makers

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PASADENA, Calif. Oct. 30, 2008 -- The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is suing six electronics giants that it says are illegally profiting by using its patented technology in their digital cameras.

In a complaint filed Oct. 15 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler, Caltech accuses Canon USA, Sony Corp., Nikon Inc., Olympus America, Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. of infringing on its six patents issued between November 1999 and June 2004 relating to active-pixel technology.

The technology in question involves the use of image sensors on a chip to reduce noise, making images clearer. It is now widely used in camera phones, digital SLR cameras, web cameras, and high definition camcorders. More than 70 such cameras are mentioned in the Caltech lawsuit, including digital SLR models such as the Nikon D700 and Olympus E-420 and HD camcorders such as the Canon Vixia HG10 and the Sony HDR-UX20. All of the companies named in the suit are aware of the patents and are continuing to willfully infringe them, the institute said.

Caltech is asking the court to require each defendant to pay damages, including triple damages for the willful infringement, as well as supplemental damages and reimbursement of attorney's fees. The institute also demands that all issues be determined by a jury.

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Oct 2008
digital camera
A camera that converts a collected image into pixels that are black or white digital or shades of gray. The digital data may then be manipulated to enhance or otherwise modify the resulting viewed image.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
active-pixelCalifornia Institute of TechnologyCaltechcamcordercamerasCanondamagersdamagesdigital cameraEmploymentimage sensorinfringingjuryNews & FeaturesNikonOlympusPanasonicpatentphonephotonicsSamsungSensors & DetectorsSony

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