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Kodak Files Patent Lawsuit Against Agfa Related to Medical X-Ray Films

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--Nov. 5, 2002--Eastman Kodak Company today said it has filed a lawsuit claiming that Agfa-Gevaert N.V., based in Mortsel, Belgium, is infringing Kodak patents related to specific medical x-ray film technologies. Filed in U.S. District Court in Rochester, the complaint claims that Agfa, one of Kodak's primary competitors, 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. T-Grain technology, a breakthrough in emulsion science, 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, thus considerably improving the sharpness of x-ray images captured on such films. The U.S. 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.