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FujiFilm Files Second Patent Complaint Over One-Time-Use Cameras

Press release from the issuing company

ELMSFORD, NY, June 28, 2001 – Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. announced today that its parent company, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan (“Fujifilm”), has filed a second complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding the illegal importation of one-time-use cameras into the U.S. in violation of patents held by Fujifilm. The new complaint alleges violations of the orders of the ITC by 20 foreign and domestic Enforcement Respondents and seeks the aid of the ITC in the interpretation and enforcement of its Orders. In June 1999, the ITC issued a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders that ban importation into the U.S. of all one-time-use cameras that infringe patents held by Fujifilm. The orders were in response to an action filed In February 1998 by Fujifilm, charging infringement of 15 of its U.S. patents covering one-time-use cameras. Fujifilm is taking this action for the same reasons it filed its initial claim in 1998, namely to protect its patent rights as well as to protect the one-time-use camera market in the U.S. from the negative impact that inferior products can have on that market. As a result of the previous action, Fujifilm successfully prohibited unlicensed importers from importing and selling infringing cameras into the U.S., except two importers that have appealed certain aspects of the ITC’s decision to the Court of Appeals. Some companies, however, including some Respondents in the previous action, have tried to evade the ITC's Orders by importing "pseudo reloadable cameras,” which are forbidden by the original Orders because they infringe Fujifilm's patents. A “pseudo reloadable camera” is a camera that is made to appear to be a conventional reloadable camera, but which is, in fact, actually a one-time-use camera. Fujifilm now seeks enforcement of the original Orders to bar the importation into the U.S. of the “pseudo reloadable cameras” and other infringing one-time-use cameras, as well as other suitable legal remedies. Fujifilm pioneered the development of one-time-use cameras, introducing its first product in Japan in 1986, and in the United States under the trademark Fujicolor® QuickSnap® in 1987. Fujifilm began producing QuickSnap cameras in 1995 at its factory in Greenwood, SC, which now supplies a large portion of QuickSnap cameras sold in the U.S. as well as exporting some of its production.

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