Eastman Kodak said it is suing South Korea's Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics for infringing various digital-camera patents it obtained between 1993 and 2001.
The photography products company alleges that camera phones made by the Seoul-based electronics companies and their US subsidiaries violate patents on its inventions related to image capture, compression and data storage, and a method for previewing motion images.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Rochester seeks unspecified monetary damages. Kodak also lodged a complaint with the International Trade Commission in Washington, a move designed to stop importation of products made with the disputed technology.
"We've held discussions with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue and have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement," said Laura Quatela, Kodak's chief intellectual property officer. "Consequently, we must take this legal action."
The dispute centres on patents issued in 1993, 1997 and 2001, Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo said.
Kodak has licensed its imaging patents to various technology companies including Panasonic, Motorola, Nokia, Olympus and Sony.
In January 2007, Kodak ended a long-standing patent dispute with Sony over digital-camera inventions dating back to 1987 and entered a cross-licensing deal giving the companies access to each other's patents.
Kodak had alleged in a 2004 lawsuit that Sony infringed on 10 patents for digital camera patents issued from 1987 to 2003 involving digital and video technologies such as image compression and digital storage.
Kodak has amassed more than 1,000 digital-imaging patents - and almost all of today's digital cameras rely on that technology.