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LG, Nokia Accused of Infringing Caltech Camera Patents

Nokia Oyj, LG Electronics Inc. and chipmakers including STMicroelectronics NV were sued by the California Institute of Technology, which said the companies’ mobile phones and components infringe its patents.

Caltech, in a complaint filed Nov. 24 in federal court in Los Angeles, lists nine patents pertaining to camera technology that it says Nokia and LG phones, as well as phones made by Seoul-based Pantech Co., infringe. The research university, based in Pasadena, California, seeks unspecified damages for willful infringement.

The university last year sued six digital-camera makers, including Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp. for infringing six patents for pixel sensors. The inventions came from research Caltech did for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Also named in the Nov. 24 complaint were South Korean chipmakers Seti Co. and Siliconfile Technologies Inc. and Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp.

Michael Markowitz, a U.S. spokesman for Geneva-based STMicro, said the company doesn’t comment on litigation.

John Taylor, a spokesman for Seoul-based LG’s U.S. electronics unit, Laurie Armstrong, a U.S. spokeswoman for Espoo, Finland-based Nokia, Pantech Wireless spokeswoman Erin Magee, and Toshiba America Electronic Components spokeswoman Rebecca Bueno didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

Representatives of Seti and Siliconfile didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment.

The case is California Institute of Technology v. STMicroelectronics, 10-9099, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles.)

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