Kodak says Apple attempting to buy patents ‘on the cheap’

“Eastman Kodak Co. is accusing Apple Inc. of trying to shake up a planned patent sale in a bid to avoid paying Kodak more than $1 billion in patent-infringement damages and royalties,” Jacqueline Palank reports for Dow Jones Newswires.

“Kodak says Apple is the biggest infringer of Kodak’s portfolio of digital camera patents, used in Apple’s iPhones and iPads. It is also a potential buyer of those same patents, which are worth as much as $2.6 billion and which Kodak is counting on to pay its creditors,” Palank reports. “As a result, Kodak says Apple’s move to declare ownership of key patents now, years after their development, shows that Apple is out to ‘delay and derail’ Kodak’s patent sale as well as to chip away at the patents’ value.”

Palank reports, “‘Apple’s decision to press its ownership claims now… should be seen for what it is, namely, a ploy calculated to prevent the debtors from using the [bankruptcy] sale process to obtain a fair price for Kodak’s digital capture portfolio (or to enable Apple to buy it on the cheap and extinguish its infringement exposure),’ Kodak said in court papers filed Monday.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, if Apple owns the patents, then Apple owns the patents. Ownership would naturally have to be decided before Kodak tries to sell them.

17 Comments

  1. Kodak, ever hear of Polaroid, the Instamatic infringenent on Polaroid was quite possibly the largest case of patent infringement ever.

    Kodak: the HP of photography

    1. Not quite right there I’m afraid. Instamatics were conventional film cameras, maybe the first point and shoot variety. Kodak did make an instant picture camera similar to Polaroid’s (which did infringe Polaroids patents) but they weren’t called Instamatics. We also have lots to thank Kodak for, the fact they’re gone is sad, not something to crow about.

      1. You are correct, they are instant cameras I was referring too.
        And yes Kodak has done great things for photo technology, which is why I refer to them as the HP of photography (now a shell of what was once a great company)

        1. They owed all their digital camera know how to apple, which dragged them kicking and screaming into the digital era.

          They were too stupid to realize that apple was banking the early technology for later. Apple as usual, was at the forefront WAY before the film and camera industry had any clue what was about to happen.

          Sounds familiar 😉

          1. Sorry @dijonaise, but that’s not quite correct. I was at Kodak at the time working with their digital imaging division.

            Kodak pioneered much of the modern digital sensor technology and they own the patents. Kodak also made some reasonable pioneering efforts with digital imaging software, including what become the ColorSync system Apple uses today.

            Kodak’s problem has been mainly an internal tug of war between what was a top notch R&D division and what become a classic case of Marketing-As-Managment. Marketing people are all about being relational. R&D are all about getting things created and produced. These two factions NEVER get along. Marketing will outright seek and destroy brilliant R&D projects if they ‘feel’ like the production people are getting too pushy and demanding, even if the production people are 100% right.

            This self-destructive BS killed perhaps a hundred worthy digital project created at Kodak. Kodak’s digital R&D moral plummeted. Many of their best engineers and designers told Kodak to literally f*ck off and left the company.

            Then Kodak managed to pull off a ridiculous early retirement scheme that created a massive brain-drain within the company that was shocking to behold.

            Between ticked off R&D and the brain drain, Kodak relied HEAVILY on third party technology purchases and collaborations, including those with Apple. Kodak’s f*cked management of course grabbed glory and patent ownership that was NOT their’s. Their management was also HEAVILY into Microsoft technology, entirely to their detriment. Apple tech was actually RESENTED by parts of the company. They stated as much to my face. The result was a roller coaster relationship with Apple, entirely Kodak’s fault. They’re paying the consequences.

            Apple has every right to claim THEIR technology as their own. Kodak needs an internal revolution in order to become entrepreneurial again. Until that happens, Apple gets to deal with Kodak’s continued Marketing-As-Managment, whom as I mentioned go out for BLOOD if they feel insulted, deservedly or not.

            IOW: BOO-F*CKING-HOO Kodak. STFU, take what money you can get from Apple, and move on if you have the guts for it. Oh and FIRE all your Marketing-As-Management. NEVER let them back into the board room and executive suits ever again. It was THEY who killed Kodak. I watched it happen. I’m so glad I left. 😛

  2. “more than $1 billion”?!?

    Are they nuts?

    The CEO when he was suing RIM and Apple was hoping for $1B combined, based upon getting that amount from Samsung and LG. of course those two companies sell way more phones than Apple and RIM as they sell lots of feature phones with cameras, so Kodak is nuts!

  3. I’ll tell you why Apple does not want to buy Kodak- which is what Kodak really wants.

    LIABILITY

    Kodak has a ton of liability in toxic contamination from manufacturing and more. If Apple were to outright buy Kodak it would get stuck with all that. Kodaks tenders are hoping for a payday.

    Second, if Apple’s assertion that some of Kodak’s patent claims are wrong they would be paying for what is already rightfully theirs.

      1. Exactly.
        BTW- All you GM bailout fans take note:
        GM & Delphi (former GM Parts division) dumped all the unfunded pension obligations upon the US taxpayer and never has and never will pay them back.
        Same for Chrysler.
        Not for Ford- they took not one thin dime.

    1. As has been clearly stated and delineated here in the past:
      NO ONE wants to buy Kodak. NO ONE will buy Kodak. LIABILITY is exactly why. Kodak has been the #1 polluters in New York State, worse than even crapulent General Electric. Just forget about the concept of buying Kodak. It will NEVER happen.

      So STFU Kodak, save yourself lawyer fees and sell the damned patents if you dare survive into the future.

  4. i thought you had a free market economy?
    is the USA subsidising its industries?
    no wonder the national debt is so high.

    i suppose even apple is subsidised by the govt.

  5. IN BREAKING NEWS:
    KODAK IS BANKRUPT!

    Of course Apple is going to buy Kodak patents on the cheap. HELLO! Blatant DUH Factor Kodak! You f*cked the company! Pay the consequences! Be glad if you can survive the process! Over and out.

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