Nikon awarded $14.5 million from Sigma in VR patent infringement lawsuit

Nikon-vs-Sigma-patent-infringement-lawsuit
The Tokyo district court ordered Sigma to pay 1.5 billion JPY (around 14.5 million dollars) compensation to Nikon as a result of the patent infringement case for lenses with VR technology that was filed back in 2011. The lawsuit was based on six Sigma lenses with image stabilization technology. Initially Nikon was looking for a compensations of 12 billion yen (around 116 million dollars).

Here is the summary of the judgment:

"Nikon obtained the patent related to VR technology in 2002. The content of the patented invention relates to technology wherein a vibration detection device, which detects the amount of camera vibration at angles around photographic objects, prevents the influence of vibration of a motor for lens and thereby allows more accurate photo shots. Sigma affirms that the scope of the patented invention does not include any functions which reduce the influence of camera shake. However, Mr. Osuga, the Judge in Chief, states that the effects of the invention in Nikon’s specification is described as “it allows image blur to be reduced” and that the specification clears that it includes camera shake. Thus, Mr. Osuga stands for Nikon’s assertion. In addition, Mr. Osuga points out that image blur prevention system requires various control functions, and he states that this patented invention of Nikon’s should be rewarded based on the contribution of the patent to the defendant’s products, that is 15%. Therefore, the Tokyo District Court calculated profits earned by Sigma to be a maximum of 10.1 billion JPY, and found compensation of damages to be 15% of the profits of the accused products earned by Sigma."

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