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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Hi folks,

As if Sigma's pricing debacle of the SD1 wasn't enough bad news for one week it turns out that Nikon is filing against Sigma for an alleged patent infringement. From this news item:
    Nikon Corporation filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Japan

    .................................................................................................May 25, 2011

    Nikon Corporation (KIMURA Makoto, President, Tokyo, hereafter referred to as "Nikon") filed a patent infringement suit against Sigma Corporation (hereafter referred to as "Sigma") to Tokyo District Court on May 25, 2011. 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.

    Nikon has invested considerable resources in the form of research and development over a period of many years. Such investments have created intellectual property that are important business assets of Nikon and have enabled Nikon to continuously provide the products and services that satisfy its customers requirements.

    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.

    ========================================================

    The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.
Bob.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:32 pm 
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In short: wow. This could be very interesting.

Without looking at the exact alleged infringing patents I can't know what the chances are of it going either way.

What could happen?

If Nikon win big time, and get the injunction and large damages, could Sigma afford that? It would cripple their income and limit product range unless they do pay for royalties going ahead. It will hurt the availability of classes of 3rd party lenses.

If Sigma win, Nikon would cry a bit but otherwise we would go on pretty much as we are today.

Could Sigma fight a patent war? Do they have anything else they could leverage against Nikon? Maybe that would be enough to "persuade" the two to a cross-licensing agreement. But it is always hard to tell what they have, and what its worth.

What about Tamron VC? Canon IS? Are they different enough? Or are they licensed? Or future targets? One patent litigation strategy is to pick a weaker opponent to test the waters and set a precedent before going after bigger fish who might fight back harder.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Not wanting to sound like I'm supporting the underdog without knowing all the details but I would hope that Sigma are innocent of the allegations and win the case otherwise something like this could pave the way for a truckload of sanctions against third-party lens manufacturers, which would also affect the consumer and not just the manufacturers. There's nothing like a bit of competition to drive increased feature sets and lower price points.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:01 pm 
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dpreview cite dcwatch as saying the claim is for $154 million and also give the patent numbers if you fancy looking them up. I don't know how big Sigma are for perspective on the impact of losing that much cash should it go against them in full.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:20 am 
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it would be interesting to know more specifics, if Wiki is correct
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_stabilization Canon were first with putting IS in a SLR lens.

since its in other things, like binoculars, video cameras etc, makes me wonder if its something specific that Sigma have copied from Nikon?
Or if its something recently that Sigma have done in the their latest lenses, ie copy the transducers that Nikon use, see link below

History of VR from Nikon`s website
http://imaging.nikon.com/history/scenes/16/


Here is the best I could find on Canon`s IS

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/tech ... ebure.html

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:37 am 
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Hi maxjj,

Congratulations on your 300th post. 8)

Interesting links. I wonder why Nikon is just going after Sigma and not Tamron or even, heaven forfend Canon. Maybe the others have some sort of cross-licensing deal or maybe Sigma is using something Nikon specific? It seems clear that should Nikon win and not enter into a licensing arrangement with Sigma it will be a bitter blow for Sigma and not good news for the rest of us either. :(

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:22 am 
Too bad for Sigma,I like a lot of great lenses they have,especially for the good build-optics ratio. Maybe Sigma stole something from the Nikon patented VR system?


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