Netflix, Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) are the latest companies to face lawsuits for infringing on a JPEG technology patent. The suit was brought by Princeton Digital Image Corp, which has filed more than 20 different lawsuits against numerous large companies in the U.S.
The company acquired the patent in question from General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Reuters reports that the lawsuits filed this week allege that Netflix, Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) infringed on the company’s patent by encoding image data and converting it into JPEG files for use on the companies’ websites.
Princeton Digital president Thomas Meagher told Reuters that the technology protected by the patent was developed at RCA Corp and that several companies like Nikon Corp. (TYO:7731) and Panasonic Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:PC) (TYO:6752) had licensing agreements in connection with it. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) acquired RCA Corp more than 20 years ago.
Reuters contacted all three companies facing the new lawsuits. A spokesperson from Netflix, Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) wasn’t available for comment, and spokespeople for Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) declined not to comment on the pending litigation.
Other companies that have been sued by Princeton Digital include Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) countersued Princeton Digital in an attempt to invalidate the patent in January.
Several of the defendants in the lawsuits filed by the company have asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuits, but he hasn’t made a ruling on the issue yet. The companies claim the suits are invalid because some General Electric entities retained some rights in the patent but aren’t parties in the lawsuits.