E-Data sues Getty Images and Corbis

Digital media company E-Data announced on Tuesday it had filed patent infringement lawsuits against Getty Images and Corbis, the latest companies that may eventually be forced to pay licensing fees to directly sell their products over the Internet.

The two suits in a U.S. District Court are the latest in a string of litigation the company has engaged in since the early 1990s, seeking to protect intellectual property for distributing digital content via the Internet and loading it onto some other material or device for reproduction. "We're moving forward in enforcing our rights under the patent laws. That's part of our global strategy," said Gerald Angowitz, special assistant to E-Data chairman Bert Brodsky. "We would like to reach a licensing agreement with the parties, rather than litigate for the sake of litigation. But failing that, we do intend to pursue our rights."

The company alleges Getty and Corbis infringed on its patents by electronically transferring stock photos and images to customers at a remote location, where the material was purchased and reproduced. E-Data's patent covers the downloading and recording of data, including photos, text and video, from a computer onto a tangible object--a tape, a CD, even a sheet of paper.

News source: C|Net News.com

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