It’s not uncommon for cameras to look similar in this day and age. Even the Sony A7 and A7r, which haven’t even been released yet, are being described as “OM-D-like” by rumor sites. But at what point does “similarity” cross the line to “infringement.”
Well, if you need an example, just take a look at Polaroid’s iM1836, because Nikon is filing a lawsuit against the company and camera manufacturer Sakar International over just that.
Considering that both times we’ve covered the iM1836 — when it was first announced and when we got our mitts on it at CES — we felt the need to point out how ridiculously similar it looked to Nikon’s 1-series ILCs, we shouldn’t be surprised that Nikon is suing Polaroid for infringement.
According to a press release, Nikon “negotiated amicably” with Sakar behind the scenes to try and solve this problem outside of court, but the manufacturer would have none of it, and so the Japanese company has been forced to get litigious.
“Nikon makes a great effort to create designs that can be differentiated from other companies’ products,” explains the press release, “as well as to strongly deter the imitation of its designs.”
The camera company is seeking an injunction against Sakar for “infringement of the design patent and trade dress right” of the Nikon 1 series. If upheld, the injunction would prevent Sakar from further production or sale of the Polaroid iM1836. Although, to be honest, we’re not sure how well it was selling in the first place.