Until 1965, when the new Ektaprint 3 process and papers and the new C41 process, all other companies had their own proprietary processes for color products with the exception of Fuji and Konica which had Kodachrome compatible films.

At the time the new C41 and EP3 were introduced, the films used entirely new chemistry to improve sharpness and grain along with speed. These improvements were patented and any other company that wanted to equal Kodak materials had to get a license.

The Japanese (Sakura and Fuji) were coating with high speed coaters which laid down several layers at one time. This again was a Kodak patent that was just expiring at that time. So, the Japanese could equal the Kodak output and product but only by license of patents, and since the new materials broke new grounds chemically, the Japanese had some catch up to do. Their products did not equal those of Kodak until about 1990. Fuji finally exceeded Kodak quality with reversal films, but Kodak kept the lead in neg-pos products.

Agfa, until about 1965 was using a different color chemistry which caused problems with high speed mulit layer coatings and so they had to re-design all of their color products and coating machines. This caused a considerable lag that lasted until the early '80s IIRC. I do know that Agfa engineers were trying to get information on Kodak coating speeds and the number of layers we were coating. Well, in 1965 we were doing more than 6 layers at one time and nearly 1000 ft/min and no one was able to match that productivity at that time.

Everyone finally caught up to those figures, but Kodak is doing better than that now! If need be, Kodak could supply the entire color and B&W marked, but obviously there are other players and the market share has been destroyed by both digital and the actions of Kodak's top management.

PE