The independent Japanese lens maker Sigma is reportedly being sued for £95 million in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by the multi-national optics and imaging corporation Nikon.
The lawsuit, filed in the Tokyo District Court, centres on a Nikon patent for vibration reduction technology used in its DSLR lenses, a patent which the company claims Sigma has breached. Whilst Sigma is yet to comment on the lawsuit, a statement on the Nikon website explained the situation from its side:
“Nikon’s lawsuit seeks an injunction against Sigma’s manufacture and sale of infringing interchangeable lenses with vibration reduction for single lens reflex cameras, along with damages for past infringement.
“Although Nikon attempted to resolve Sigma’s patent infringement through negotiation, a non-adversarial resolution could not be reached. Consequently, Nikon concluded that filing a lawsuit was the only way it could protect its intellectual property.”
Nikon is reportedly seeking £95 million in damages from Sigma, according to a Reuters report. It is presumed that should Sigma lose the case, the company will be able to rely on its professional indemnity insurance (providing it covers copyright infringement claims, as most policies do) to cover the costs.