Photo giant Eastman Kodak has filed suit against Sun Microsystems alleging that the latter's Java-based products infringe Kodak's patents.
The suit, filed in the US District Court in New York, involves three patents Kodak acquired in 1997 when it bought Wang Laboratories. Kodak sold the business two years later but said it kept the patent rights from the business.
A Kodak spokesman explained that the company tried to resolve the issue with Sun for three years but has not been able to reach a suitable licensing agreement. Compensatory damages are being sought and no amount was specified, according to the suit.
Sun said in a statement: "Based on discussions over many months with Kodak, Sun believes that this suit is without merit and, accordingly, will defend itself vigorously and is confident that it will prevail."
Launched by Sun in 1995, the Java programming language runs across a range of devices and operating systems. The company has claimed that there are more than three million Java programmers worldwide.
Kodak has worked with Sun on several aspects of Java including the development of the Java Advanced Imaging application programming interface. Last year the two companies announced a five-year, $200m contract to expand Kodak's enterprise resource planning system.
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