Caltech Sues Camera Manufacturers

In an interesting development, Caltech has sued Canon USA, Sony Corp., Nikon Inc., Olympus America, Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. for wilful infringement of core digital imaging technology. See http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/business/ci_10772109 for more details.

The case is interesting since twenty years ago, Honeywell cleared up hundreds of millions for infringement of range-finding patents developed for the industry and eventually included in cameras.

Potentially, therefore, this is a major money spinner. Caltech does not manufacture. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to cash in on their inventions, but should the money be earmarked for research purposes? for student scholarships? What happens when universities get govt. funding? What about industry funding? Are academic institutions, many of which are non-profits, like any other business? Is this an issue that can be solved by contract law, or should there be legislation?



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