Film News: Polaroid and Fujifilm heading towards court battle

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by Michael Nguyen /

1 min read
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In what is potentially hugantic news for the industry, Polaroid is threatening litigation for trademark infringement of its iconic square frame on the new Fujifilm Square line of instant films. Polaroid claims that the border of Fujifilm’s square film (where the chemicals  needed for development are) is “essentially identical” to the ones of Polaroid. While the actual print is indeed smaller, the aspect ratios and proportions of image to border are also identical.

As reported at worldipreview:

“In the suit, the brand licensor and marketer of the IP rights for Polaroid instant cameras—PLR IP—was accused of “turning against Fujifilm by suddenly demanding millions of dollars in annual royalty payments, on threat of a lawsuit”.

“Fujifilm said that Polaroid had alleged trademark and trade dress infringement relating to a border on a photograph (when a photograph is printed onto a plain background to create a “square within a square” effect).”

Apparently, Polaroid had asked Fujifilm not to release any square format products prior but they did it anyways and thus they are asking for appropriate remunerations. Fujifilm is making good dough on its Instax products, with roughly 7.5 million Instant camera sales in 2017.

A scheduled meeting for a private negotiation has been canceled by both companies, a possible sign that a messy court date is in the works.  What are everyone’s thoughts,  legit case or merely attention whoring and gold-digging?  Stay tuned for the latest.

MN

9 comments on “Film News: Polaroid and Fujifilm heading towards court battle”

    Michael C. Fortner November 19, 2017 at 10:33 am / Reply

    Don’t laugh, it worked against Kodak in the 80s.

    Dio Lopez November 20, 2017 at 2:37 am / Reply

    Both of these companies upset me. About 10 years , I was happy to pay Polaroid money for their 600 film, it was nostalgic, arty, and useful. Then they pulled it out from the shelves, bummer.

    So, I was able to purchase a Polaroid land 100, and I lived without the 600 film to replace it with the Fuji peel away film. The film was nostalgic, arty, useful, and affordable. Then they decided to recently pull it from the shelves, and the prices tripled. That sucked!

    Finally, I succumbed to buying the Fuji intant camera 3 months ago. It’s a fun little camera, the pictures could be bigger though.

    The irony about it is when I buy film for the Fuji camera, I notice that Polaroid has decided to complete with Fuji since polaroid has a new instant product.

    Both these companies are confused. They should merge to create a customer/user friendly instant camera film line.

    Peace drop mic here.

    Bill L November 20, 2017 at 9:55 am / Reply

    I would like to point out that Kodak lost the suit with Polaroid because Kodak was guilty as hell. Kodak manufactured product for Polaroid under contract. Kodak used the product knowledge to create a competing product which they marketed aggressively.

    Kodak lost the suit, had to stop selling their version of Polaroid’s technology and pay damages. What was quietly pointed out in the press was that even with all of the costs Kodak faced they still made a large profit by stealing Polaroid’s technology.

    As I recall Polaroid turned to Fujifilm to replace Kodak.

    Alessandro November 20, 2017 at 2:33 pm / Reply

    I’m sorry, but you all missed a point right here. Polaroid and Polaroid Originals are two different companies. So this legal action comes from someone/something, that is not making any film right now. I’m wondering if Polaroid Originals has to pay some kind of royalty to the Polaroid Company (again different entities), or they have the right to use the square film format for “x” amount of years.

    That being said, we endanger a “new” company if we assume that it was the one, which made this claim, for what I hear P.O. made no complaint.

    amigo toro November 21, 2017 at 12:58 am / Reply

    I am reminded of what Field Marshall Rundstedt (German Western Front commander in 1944)said to the general staff after D-Day – “make peace, you fools”!! (Amazingly, he was not shot & survived the war).
    Is it really worth a fight that Poaroid may easily lose? Would Fuji continue with Instax afterwards? What about the customers, who would be the ultimate losers?

    Gutter Rock November 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm / Reply

    Actually Polaroid and Polaroid Originals are the same company now. I am biased so I am on Polaroid’s side here. Fuji obviously went for the classic Polaroid look with the square Instax. There is any number of things they could have done to have avoided this but instead chose to copy that iconic Polaroid design. Also, Fuji was given packfilm by Polaroid and Instax is the old Kodak instant film process. They are making millions off products they didn’t even invent. So, I think they can afford to pay some royalties!

    Robert Bruch December 2, 2017 at 6:24 am / Reply

    They are 2 diffrent companies. But there is a merger unoffically. Polaroid sources the cameras polaroid orignal sources the film. There is a licensing agreement so they are one company in that aspect. Similar to Kodak and Kodak Alaris. If polaroid said no square format you bet they have it in writting.

    Bob December 4, 2017 at 6:36 am / Reply

    In the past the real Polaroid offered the Polaroid Mio based on an Instax mini 10 and using Mio film, rebranded Instax mini film. Some years ago Polaroid released the PIC300, a rebranded Instax mini 7s and also PIF300 film (rebranded instax mini film). It’s a strange situation. I hope Polaroid will survive this suit.

    Alex December 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm / Reply

    After reading this article all I can say to formal IP now Polaroid Originals One Word “SHAME” I could not believed in reading this article that the sounds of the late 1980’s story when The Polaroid Company did Sued Kodak, and won, the only problem is that the Kodak product was a little better in instant photography, and when I used to work at a Camera Store in San Francisco that we sold Alot of Kodak instant products to our corporate accounts. And as Polaroid won their suit we lost our shirts in giving credits to our accounts. Their is No Polaroid, and you guys took the name, You know what Polaroid is on now? They are just a Name, and they make DVD Players, Large Screen TV’s, and Cheap Pocket Digital Cameras. You guys bought the compny and I think if memory serves me that one of the founders used to work from Lomography, and the other used to work for Polaroid in the Netherlands as the both of them acquired the building, and started Impossible Project as they started making both Peel apart film-SX70 & 600, Spectra film along with the 20×24 film. Did you know of the Company called MINT as they are refurbishing SX70, and 600 cameras, and placing Shutter dial, and also that they made the first TLR Instant camera that takes Instax Mini film, You know what I think is BRAVO!!, and all you guys made was a Super Type Pronto camera for how much $300? for 8 shots not 10. I am very proud when I own my SX70, and was having so much fun in shooting it, and also my Polaroid 250 as I was a hardcore using Peel Apart film and now Fuji does not make it anymore after seeing photos of people buying it by the CASE LOTS, and when IP when you sent a rep to where I work, that you wanted to sell that $300 Pronto as I said to the rep that you guys DID made peel apart film, but he said that we could not have the materials, and ingredients – BULL, it is in the Autobiography of Dr Land’s book The Instant Image-Don’t you guys read? You make 8×10 film why can’t you make 3×4 film? And bring the price down of your SX70 & 600 film the price that you sell it for is for a Twin Pack price you know what the rep said of the price as they need it for making it-The Instants films sells for almost the same price as your film which it is pack in 8 shots. And now your guys are going to Fuji, and do what?? All I say again is SHAME SHAME and SHAME – Grow Up, a little competition does not hurt, and which is the better product? Your film we have to cover it against light, and 8 SHOTS which the Instax the film image appears colorful not faded, and 10 shots. If Apple can make a battery that can fit on a iWatch why can you re-designed it for the SX70, and 600 so you can squeeze an extra 2 shots.

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