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Prior Art for Digital Camera-related Infringement Litigation

When search for prior art references for an infringement of patent lawsuit, the first database should be considered is Japan patent database provided by JPO and modified by other commercial database providers such as Patolis, etc. There are about 10,000 patent applications filed annually at JPO that contains Japanese synonym of "digital camera" since 2004 (please refer to How to Search for Digital Cameras.)

If Japanese synonyms of "electronic camera" or "electronic still camera" or "digital still camera" etc. are included in the searches, number of patent documents containing these key word strings are few times more than that for Japanese synonym of "digital camera". Japan is the leading country in digital camera development since 80s' and is also the leading country in intellectual property protection in this field, as can be seen from the huge number of patents filed in this area.

In search for a digital camera with a unique parameter setting feature, a combination of full text and class is preferred. For example, Japanese key word strings "諸元+ 仕様+ パラメータ" can be used as the first set of search terms, and "エレクトロニック・イメージング+ 電子画像 +デジタルカメラ+ デジカメ +デジタル画像+ デジタルイメージング+ 電子スチルビデオカメラ +電子スチルカメラ +電子カメラ" can be used as the second search term. As for classes to be used, we suggest to cover a wide scope, such as using (H04N5/ +G06F3/+ G06T1/ +G09G5/ +G11B5/ +G11C7/).

With the suggested strategy mentioned above, 500 - 1000 hits may be generated if the period is limited to prior to 1996, or 1,000 - 2,500 hits may be produced if the period is expanded to prior to 2010. 1,000 - 2,500 hits are too big to be screened and reviewed, therefore, another set of key word strings should be used to remove noise.

Recommended database to be used in digital camera search includes NRI and Patolis.

How to Search Japanese Patents for Digital Cameras
Digital Cameras with unique parameter setting function
Digital Cameras with image rotation during display

To find prior art for digital camera-related patent infringement litigation, Japanese patent documents stored at JPO should be looked.