Apple asks for court approval to sue bankrupt Kodak over patents

“Apple Inc. asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue Eastman Kodak Co. over allegations it’s infringing patents that Apple says cover technologies used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames,” Joel Rosenblatt reports for Bloomberg.

“Apple said in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York that it intends to file a complaint against Kodak at the International Trade Commission and a corresponding suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan based on patent-infringement claims,” Rosenblatt reports. “The suit will seek an order blocking Kodak’s infringement, according to the filing.”

Rosenblatt reports, “Kodak, in a Feb. 10 response, said the bankruptcy doesn’t alter the fact that the company has invested in digital imaging technology and continues to seek licenses for its inventions. The commission is scheduled to decide by Feb. 23 whether it will institute the investigation. ‘Apple should not be using the bankruptcy to seek to disrupt Kodak’s enforcement of its patents given that infringers like Apple, who continue to violate Kodak’s intellectual property rights and refuse to properly compensate it, have contributed to Kodak’s current circumstances,’ Kodak wrote.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. “continues to seek licenses for its inventions.”

    While this may seem like piling on a bankrupt company, the fact is Kodak is still seeking licensing fees, and it is still trying to sell itself, as a patent play. By suing now, Apple can prevent Kodak from trying to sell itself to a patent troll whose sole purpose would be to sue Apple. Better to nip it in the bud, before some troll pays $1B to buy Kodak, and then feels great urgency to recoup their investment.

  2. What Steve Jobs might have said:

    “We aim for excellence in four major categories: Design, Code, Content and Law. In each of these areas we will compete on levels our competitors cannot match until they accede to us the high ground and we become untouchable.”

    Seriously, their lawyering team seems to be going from height to height, strength to strength. When this is over Apple will be untouchable regarding the currently essential iOS patents. Might take a few more years, but oh wow…

  3. If this is related to the disputed patents from what Apple and Kodak partnered on the QuickTake cameras, it is probably a lot easier to settle before Kodak puts these patents up for auction.

  4. It will be interesting to see if Carl Gustin gets dragged into this mess. He was a senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Kodak for digital products – and before that, a vice president and director of worldwide marketing at Apple. He worked closely with John Sculley at Apple back in the day. Who is he most loyal to: Kodak, Apple or Sculley?

    1. Mr. Potatohead, Kodak is already suing Apple. Apple is merely returning fire. They also want to keep Kodak from selling its patents to another company who will extort and bully Apple.

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