Japanese electronics giant Ricoh Co. Ltd. has agreed to pay Eastman Kodak Co. nearly $76 million to settle a legal dispute over patent licenses and royalties.
Rochester-based Kodak sued Ricoh in April 2012, claiming that Ricoh was stiffing it on royalty payments due from its use of Kodak patents.
Among its claims were that once Ricoh bought camera maker Pentax Imaging Systems in 2011, it owed back royalties since Pentax had never signed any digital imaging licensing agreement with Kodak.
In the suit, Kodak sought unspecified dollar damages.
Ricoh, for its part, argued that that it had paid Kodak everything owed by the patent license agreement for its own products, and that there's no proof Pentax ever infringed on Kodak's patents.
The case went to trial this week in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, with a jury ruling for Kodak, said company spokesman Christopher Veronda.
But in a stipulation signed by the companies this week before the start of the trial, Ricoh and Kodak both agreed that regardless of the trial's outcome, Ricoh would pay Kodak $75.8 million — roughly $69 million to settle various claims, as well as $6.9 million in interest.
Kodak sold its portfolio of roughly 1,100 digital imaging patents in 2012 as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
However, the Ricoh settlement money will go to to it and not the new owners of the patents since Kodak owned them during the nine years between Ricoh first signing a licensing agreement and its Pentax takeover, Veronda said