TOKYO Ampex Corp. is claiming that Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. infringed its intellectual property and is seeking a ban on U.S. imports and sales of Sanyo's digital still cameras and camera phones using the dispute technology.
Ampex (Redwood City, Calif.) filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking the ban on importation and sales of Sanyo's digital cameras. Ampex also filed suit in U.S. District Court in Delaware seeking unspecified damages from Sanyo for patent infringement.
The disputed technology centers on "digital image storage and retrieval capabilities, Ampex said. That was an apparent reference to the use of thumbnail images to retrieve original pictures.
Ampex said it had been negotiating with Sanyo and other digital still camera manufacturers about the alleged patent infringement before filing its complaint and lawsuit.
Sanyo is not a big brand in digital still camera market but is one of the largest suppliers, mostly to other camera venders on an OEM basis. Sanyo produced 11.1 million cameras last year, which account for about one forth of the world digital still camera market, according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association.
If Ampex succeeds in blocking sales and imports of Sanyo's cameras, the order would apply to all digital still cameras and camera phones manufactured by Sanyo, including those supplied by Sanyo on an OEM basis.