We’re surprised this didn’t happen sooner, but Nikon just slapped Polaroid and Sakar with a lawsuit over the Polaroid iM1836, claiming that Polaroid’s Micro Four Thirds camera infringes on Nikon’s design patent and trade dress right of Nikon’s 1 series (via Engadget). The lawsuit was filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
When images of the iM1836 started leaking late last year and we were able to try one out at CES 2013, we and everybody else picked up on the design similarities between it and Nikon’s compact system cameras immediately. Nikon, which put out a press release regarding the litigation, said that they initially tried to work things out with Sakar without taking the case to court, but Sakar wouldn’t play ball.
“Nikon makes a great effort to create designs that can be differentiated from other companies’ products, as well as to strongly deter the imitation of its designs,” Nikon wrote in its press release. “Although Nikon has negotiated with Sakar to amicably solve this problem, we could not reach an agreement. Consequently, Nikon decided to initiate the lawsuit by necessity.”
The Polaroid iM1836, which is manufactured by Sakar under license from Polaroid, made a bit of noise at CES for its use of Android as the camera’s operating system and the Micro Four Thirds mirrorless system, and being listed at $399. Sakar isn’t known for quality, and the iM1836’s less-than-perfect construction and sluggishness of the Android UI shows. We aren’t sure if the cameras are even sold anywhere, and, when requested several times for a review unit, Polaroid never followed through.
Even if Nikon loses the case, we don’t think it has anything to worried about since we can’t see the iM1836 gaining any sort of traction.