Minneapolis (April 7, 2009) - St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. (St. Clair) announces that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has agreed to take a license under St. Clair's digital camera patents. The patents cover digital camera technology that is incorporated in many popular cameras, camcorders and camera phones to allow images to be saved in different file formats, such as JPEG and MPEG.
St. Clair's other licensees include Sony Corporation, Nikon Corporation, Olympus Optical Co., Ltd., Minolta Co., Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Kyocera Corporation, Pentax Corporation, and Samsung Techwin Co., Ltd., Motorola, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, and LG Electronics. The licensed patents are United States patents 5,138,459 (the "'459 patent"), 5,576,757 (the "'757 patent"), 6,094,219 (the "'219 patent"), 6,233,010 (the "'010 patent"), 6,323,899 (the "'899 patent"), and 6,496,222 (the "'222 patent"). The federal case against Samsung, St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al., C.A. No. 04-1436-JJF-LPS, will be dismissed.
St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. is based in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. St. Clair is engaged in technology development and licensing. St. Clair was an early investor in Personal Camera Computers, the company formed by the inventors to commercialize their patents and technology. PCC's technology proved to be ahead of its time, and in 1995, St. Clair acquired the patents from PCC in return for sharing the net proceeds with PCC of royalties obtained from licensing the patents.
St. Clair has filed several lawsuits over the patents in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. In a suit filed against Sony, a jury ruled in February 2003 that Sony had infringed all of the asserted claims of the patents and awarded St. Clair $25 million. Sony has since licensed the patents. In October 2004, a jury awarded St. Clair $34.7 million after finding Canon Inc. infringed the patents. Canon later settled the case for an undisclosed amount. Later in October, a jury ruled that Fuji Photo Film Co., infringed the same patents.
Samsung was sued in November of 2004, along with Eastman Kodak. In the course of the litigation, Eastman Kodak asserted that it had acquired rights to the patents in dispute through an agreement with the inventors' former employer. The ownership dispute resolved with Kodak's confirmation that St. Clair has been the lawful owners of, and has had good title to, the patents since St. Clair's 1995 purchase of the patents from PCC. Kodak also took a license under St. Clair's digital camera patents.
St. Clair is represented by Ronald J. Schutz, Chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation and Licensing Practice Group at the national law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., which, in January 2004, was named by The American Lawyer the "IP Department of the Year" for 2003. In 2008, The National Law Journal named Mr. Schutz to its annual list of the nation's Top 10 Winning Attorneys.