Sigma to pay Nikon $14.5 million for VR patent infringement
The Tokyo District Court has ruled in favor of Nikon in a patent infringement case brought against Sigma. The lawsuit, filed in 2011 and settled last month alleged that six of Sigma's interchangeable lenses infringed on certain Nikon patents relating to VR (vibration reduction) technology. The lawsuit originally sought $120 million US (12.4 billion JPY).
Last month, the court ruled in Nikon's favor, and estimated that Nikon's patented VR technology amounted to a 15% contribution to the Sigma lenses in question. This figure was used to calculate the amount owed, meaning that 15% of the 10.1 billion JPY profit Sigma made on the lenses in question will go to Nikon. Here's how that bit of the judgement was summarized:
'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.'
Nikon's VR technology was patented in 2002.