Nikon Sued for Patent Infringement

On June 14, plaintiff Digimedia Tech, LLC filed a patent infringement complaint against Nikon Inc. and Nikon Americas Inc. alleging that they appropriated three of its patents relating to digital camera technology. The case is being held in the Eastern District of New York before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis. The plaintiff is represented by Kent & Risley.

The patents in suit are United States Patent No. 6,914,635 (the ‘635 patent), titled “Microminiature Zoom System for Digital Camera, and Nos. 6,545,706 (the ‘706 patent) and 7,715,476 (the ‘476 patent), which are both titled “System, Method and Article of Manufacture for Tracking a Head of a Camera-Generated Image of a Person.” According to the complaint, “The claims of the ’635 patent are directed to technical solutions to the technical problem of providing zoom, autofocus, and other features to increasingly compact digital cameras.” Image stabilization is another feature claimed by the patent. The claims of the ‘706 and ‘476 patents “are directed to technical solutions to the technical problem of how to identify a head in an image.”

According to the complaint, Nikon’s CoolPix A1000 and P900RM digital cameras infringed upon the patents-in-suit. Among other things, the A1000 camera allegedly appropriates the ‘635 patent by using a similar “micro-electromechanical (MEMS) system support mechanism for providing at least two positions of movement to a supported element.” The ‘706 and ‘476 patents are allegedly infringed by Nikon’s CoolPix P900RM because it features “A computer program embodied on a [computer-readable] medium for tracking a head portion of a person  image in video images,” and a “system for processing images to identify a head portion of a subject in the images.”

As a result of Nikon’s alleged patent infringement, Digimedia Tech seeks an award of damages in an amount that “cannot be less than a reasonable royalty.”