Sony has filed a suit against Eastman Kodak in the US, alleging infringement of ten patents related to digital still camera technology, the company said on Thursday.

Some of the patents involved cover basic technologies related to CCD (charge coupled device) technology, said Aki Shimazu, a spokeswoman for Sony. CCD technology is commonly used in the image sensors, which sit behind the lens and convert light into corresponding electrical signals for processing by the camera.

They are used in many high- and mid-range digital still cameras and are generally favoured over CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensor technology.

The suit was filed in a US District Court and asks for an unspecified amount of compensation and legal costs, said Shimazu. It also seeks to halt the production, distribution and sale of products containing technology covered by the patents, she said.

Eastman Kodak could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier in March Kodak filed a suit against Sony alleging infringement of ten similar patents. At the time Sony denied violating any of Kodak's patents and said it would "vigorously defend" the charges against it.

"It's not a countersuit," said Shimazu. "We have been studying our options and trying to settle and negotiate with Eastman Kodak. We tried to reach an agreement but were unable to."

Sony's action comes after more than a year of talks between the two companies regarding the patents and others broke down.