Nikon has announced it is suing Sigma for infringing two of its patents relating to image stabilized lenses. The company says it had attempted to negotiate a resolution but concluded 'filing a lawsuit was the only way it could protect its intellectual property.' Japanese website DCWatch is reporting the disagreement as relating to Japanese patents 3,755,609 and 3,269,223, which cover 'zoom lens that can shift the image' and equipment 'provided with an ultrasonic motor and vibration detector,' respectively. News agency Reuters reports Nikon as seeking around 12.6 billion Yen ($154m). Due to the ongoing legal process, Sigma declined to comment.

Press Release:

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.