Previous news story    Next news story

Nikon sues Sakar for infringement with Polaroid iM1836 Android camera

By dpreview staff on Oct 15, 2013 at 07:15 GMT

Nikon Inc. has announced it's suing Sakar International Inc. over the design of the Polaroid iM1836, a planned Android camera that does look remarkably like the Nikon 1 series of mirrorless cameras. Announced this morning in a Japanese language press release on Nikon's Japanese website, the lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against both manufacture and sale of the Polaroid iM1836 digital camera.

Nikon notes in the press release that they tried to resolve the matter with Sakar, but did not come to a satisfactory conclusion (paraphrase). 

In our report from CES 2013, where Sakar announced the Polaroid iM1836, we noted more than once that the design reminded us of the Nikon 1 J-model cameras. We also noted how different the Polaroid design was in practical terms, with an Android operating system, a touchscreen, and interchangeable lenses that integrated a shutter and sensor. The camera was then expected to ship in the first quarter of 2013 for $399. 

The design in question is the Polaroid iM1836, an interchangeable lens camera with Android as its operating system. More unique is that each lens module has its own sensor and shutter mechanism.

Comments

Total comments: 159
12
iAPX
By iAPX (6 months ago)

They may look similar as any compact-sized camera in white color. But they are truly diffrent: this one is much interesting with the sensor/shutter/lens modules, enabling to have perfectly tailored modules for any usage!

4 upvotes
supeyugin1
By supeyugin1 (6 months ago)

Ricoh should sue them, then.

0 upvotes
Anderton
By Anderton (6 months ago)

Nikon is becoming more and more like Kodak.

9 upvotes
Pontoneer
By Pontoneer (6 months ago)

Why should Nikon be getting upset because another maker's camera looks a bit similar to one of theirs ? All cameras perform much the same function so it follows that they will share similarities to a greater or lesser degree .

By Nikon's reasoning , Pentax should be upset at every other maker who produced an SLR after they made the first one .

Not all manufacturers are precious and petty though .

5 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (6 months ago)

No, you totally misrepresent Nikon's reasoning. This is a product that looks awfully like Nikon's on the outside. It's the look, not the function. Design patent, not technology patent.

1 upvote
gerry328
By gerry328 (6 months ago)

Ihagee of Dresden, Germany made the first 35 mm SLR, the Exacta and its smaller brother the Exa in 1936 (I still have my father's copy of the Exa which he bought in the 1950s). The first 35 mm SLR with a pentaprism for eye-level viewing was the 1949 Zeis Ikon VEB Contax S, also made in Dresden. Pentax only came out with their first 35 mm SLR, the Asahiflex I in 1952.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (6 months ago)

They can't be serious.

I turned to Nikon in 2006 when shopping for a first DSLR because they were the camera company which was doing 'the right thing'. Great cameras, fine lenses, no bs.

This is Nikon now? Inability to deliver D300 replacement for years (not that I care, i wouldn't buy it, but it shows how they don't care), insanely expensive N1 system with massive flaws (I don't mean the sensor size), QA issues which they can't even admit, slowly breaking the good little details in their cameras in favor of some gimmicky cr*p... All that draws a picture already.

But this is the last straw, really. They are no longer unable to compete on a fair level so they resort to bs like this? This is not the Nikon I knew.

5 upvotes
iamphil
By iamphil (6 months ago)

The Polaroid copied everything right down to the oily sensor issues. All it's missing is an inflated price tag. Somebody grab a rag!

4 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (6 months ago)

NOKIA and NIKON should both sue each other for copying their brand names backward AND getting it wrong, to boot.

5 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (6 months ago)

In fact CANON should sue everyone else that uses 5-character names including the letter pairs "NO" or "ON". And the descendants of Galileo should sue everyone for using lenses made out of glass to focus images.

Oh, to be a lawyer ("attorney")! $$$$$$$$$

Brian

5 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (6 months ago)

You do realize that in the 50's Nikon was sued by Zeiss Ikon because of the similarities in name. "Nikon" could not be imported into Germany for a time, so everything was branded "Nikkor" even bodies and accessories.

5 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (6 months ago)

This is the camera with the sensor in the lens unit right? Ricoh should Sue them as well ;).

4 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (6 months ago)

I'd rather get Ricoh's system. This is just some generic manufacturer exploiting their rights to the old Polaroid trademark.

1 upvote
veato
By veato (6 months ago)

In this photo they do look very similar, not just the white box (because what compact camera ISN'T that shape?) but the holed ring around the lens.

http://zapp3.staticworld.net/reviews/graphics/products/uploaded/nikon_1_j1_1121295_g1.jpg

0 upvotes
epo001
By epo001 (6 months ago)

Of course it is a copy and of course the legions of witless fandroids make witless comparisons with Apple, after if Samsung didn't copy Apple all their phones would look like Nokia handsets.

1 upvote
austin design
By austin design (6 months ago)

So people who prefer better-spec'ed, more capable but less expensive phones are "witless"? -- seems you have things backwards.

4 upvotes
lucinio
By lucinio (6 months ago)

Hoping Nikon will loose a lot of money.

8 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (6 months ago)

Erm, why?

3 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (6 months ago)

The way things are going they'll patent the Circle of Confusion next.

Oh! it looks like they already have. ;)

3 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (6 months ago)

WTF? This is a boring box-shaped body with a boring cylinder-shaped lens stuck on the front. Leica should sue Everyone.

NUTS.COM

Brian

10 upvotes
GMart
By GMart (6 months ago)

It looks similar but that is all really...

2 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (6 months ago)

Sometimes that is all it takes for something to be an illegal infringement.

0 upvotes
ZorSy
By ZorSy (6 months ago)

Then Sakar should sue Sony for their QX clip-on camera... so Nikon settles with Sony...what a nonsense. It just looks as white as Nikon 1 series and that is where the similarity ends.

1 upvote
SunnyFlorida
By SunnyFlorida (6 months ago)

Really Nikon? B/C the Nikon P7000 is a straight rip-off of t he canon G12, yur coolpix cameras are another "me too" version of Sony cameras, do we want to go down the line of all your cameras that look identical to the competition?

6 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (6 months ago)

"That thing of yours is shaped like a lens...

We are suing you because that thing is shaped like our lens. Our lenses bend light and focus the image to a sensor... Your lenses do that too...

So... WE SUE YOU!

(and also... we need to recoup the lost money for the ugly "1" design which nobody wants to buy... so we see you... here comes our debt recovery... a lawsuit to fund our losses...)

.

2 upvotes
yonsarh
By yonsarh (6 months ago)

Everybody copies

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (6 months ago)

...And yet another trend set by Apple: "Innovation", legal-style.
Hey! Maybe hipsters drive themselves to extinction by loop-suing back and forth their "cute" hats designs.

3 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (6 months ago)

Dear SAKAR, good job. Seems that not only we need more ugly and non-ergonomic cameras but their copies as well. For your next clone please consider Pentax K 01.

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (6 months ago)

On one side, there is a Win-win situation here. Nikon reminds the world there is a Nikon 1 camera and Polaroid gets some free advertising.

3 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (6 months ago)

Any soap company is going to sue Nikon?

9 upvotes
Jokica
By Jokica (6 months ago)

Err, probably. And oil company will sue Nikon for collection their oil on D600 sensor. So, Nikon is going ahead.

12 upvotes
Jokica
By Jokica (6 months ago)

At least, Nikon can be safe with V2. The camera is so ugly, no one will want to copy it :-)

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Yxa
By Yxa (6 months ago)

Maybe Sony, but the A7 is uglier

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Just when you think it doesn't get any worse than V2...

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (6 months ago)

Superficially nearly all cameras of a certain class --e.g., rangefinder, SLR-- have looked strikingly similar for decades. Since Apple et al. have started frivolous 'look&feel' IP claims, lawyers all over the world got newer Porsches and italian designer stuff... while engineers and companies went down :-(

13 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (6 months ago)

It's pretty blatant. Hardly surprising that they've been sued.

2 upvotes
austin design
By austin design (6 months ago)

Only everyone here seems to disagree with your analysis...

4 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (6 months ago)

I agree with his analysis. It looks like a Nikon 1. Too much like a Nikon 1. There are frivolous copyright claims, but this isn't one of them.

0 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (6 months ago)

Looks like Nikon is getting desperate...

15 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (6 months ago)

It does look eerily familiar.

0 upvotes
massimogori
By massimogori (6 months ago)

Apple patented the circle (the button on the i-Phone)

Nikon is claiming to have rights on the brick

I am going to put a copyright on the cone.

13 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (6 months ago)

me: copyright on the cylinder.

3 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (6 months ago)

I patented Pentagonal Icositetrahedron for use in conversations at cocktail, dinner and other social parties.
Does that count?

3 upvotes
dccdp
By dccdp (6 months ago)

You know, the owner of the patent for the sphere should sue Apple because a circle is only a /plane/ projection of their property.

3 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (6 months ago)

Next Nikon's move will be suing God, Who created gold with the same color as the Nikon logo.

1 upvote
dccdp
By dccdp (6 months ago)

So Nikon is that desperate about selling the "1" cameras that it sues a company nobody would have otherwise heard about.

Good job, this Polaroid-brand owner might actually sell a few cameras as a result.

4 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (6 months ago)

You never heard of Polaroid? Must be showing my age....

3 upvotes
dccdp
By dccdp (6 months ago)

Well, I've heard of Polaroid, but the current Polaroid it's just a shadow of the former brand. And this Sakar thing may be famous and respected in some regions, but somehow I doubt it...

3 upvotes
duchamp
By duchamp (6 months ago)

The "Sakar thing" is a large international reseller of electronic stuff (home appliances, cameras, phones, etc) based in Israel. The company deals with distributors on a regional level and is not known to the retail consumer.

0 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (6 months ago)

Wasn't Bob the host of 'America's Funniest Home Videos' ?

0 upvotes
dccdp
By dccdp (6 months ago)

@duchamp I don't doubt Sakar is a large company, or that it does good business. It's just it's not an established camera manufacturer, and therefore having its name mentioned even in the context of Nikon's wild claims may actually be good for them. I've never heard of them until now (and I'm sure I'm not the only one), and this day's news made me look them up on the internet.

Btw, their web page says "Sakar is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, with additional offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Latin America, Hong Kong and China", so you may have your info wrong.

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (6 months ago)

The point is...by suing SAKAR Nikon tells people there is also Nikon 1 camera on the market (since nobody knows it...)

14 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (6 months ago)

Yeah: Olympus, Panasonic and Sony all sell more CSCs than Nikon.

The others, not so much... (Personally, I hoped the EOS-M was going to be a monochrome version of some EOS model, not a mirrorless body.)

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (6 months ago)

" More unique is that each lens module has its own sensor and shutter mechanism"

How is that a copy of Nikon 1?

Rubbish lawsuit

3 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (6 months ago)

They could be suing over a registered design, rather than any patents or functions - In this regard it does look strikingly similar.

That said, have these even been released yet?

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (6 months ago)

It doesn't seem like they have. Amazon lists them for $299, but I can't tell whether they've ever sold any.

2 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (6 months ago)

How is this unique?

Didn't Ricoh do it a few years ago?

0 upvotes
olyflyer
By olyflyer (6 months ago)

ET2, you don't get it. It's not about the technology it is about the design, the way the camera looks like. Try to make and sell an iPhone look alike and you will see what happens...

No matter what you think about the lawsuit, one must be able to protect ones own design, just like a photographer wants to protect his/her own creation. Nobody wants to work for free and I am pretty sure Nikon paid a whole bucket of $ for that design. If you like it or not is a different thing.

4 upvotes
Yxa
By Yxa (6 months ago)

Nikon sues Sakar in best Apple style....

6 upvotes
Total comments: 159
12