Eastman Kodak Company has filed a lawsuit claiming that Agfa-Gevaert, based in Mortsel, Belgium, is infringing Kodak patents related to specific medical x-ray film technologies.
Filed in the US District Court in Rochester, the complaint claims that Agfa is infringing Kodak patents by making and selling a range of medical x-ray films that employ features covered in Kodak patents for T-Grain emulsion technology and for a special crossover-reduction layer in chest x-ray films.
According to Kodak, T-Grain technology improves the image quality of x-ray films and significantly reduces the time necessary for their processing. The crossover reduction layer sandwiched between the outer layers of chest x-ray films prevents light crossover to the outer layers, which leads to an improvement in the sharpness of x-ray images captured on such films.
The US Patent and Trademark Office issued a series of patents to Kodak for these technologies between 1984 and 1992.
‘We’ve held discussions with Agfa in an attempt to resolve this issue and never came to a satisfactory agreement. In light of that, we reluctantly must take this legal action,’ said Dan Kerpelman, president of Kodak’s Health Imaging division, and a senior vice president of the company.
Kodak’s suit requests compensation for damages resulting from the infringement, and asks for an injunction that would prohibit Agfa from further sales of products cited in the suit. Kodak did not disclose the amount of damages it seeks.