Kodak sues Apple in bid to quash claims over patents

“Eastman Kodak Co., the bankrupt photography pioneer, sued Apple Inc. in a bid to quash a dispute over patents,” Joe Schneider reports for Bloomberg.

“Kodak plans to sell its patents as part of a bankruptcy reorganization in New York and Apple is a potential purchaser, Kodak said in court papers yesterday,” Schneider reports. “Apple claims it owns 10 of the patents in Kodak’s portfolio. ‘Apple’s strategy has been to use its substantial cash position to delay as long as possible the payment of royalties to Kodak and to interfere’ with the planned sale, Kodak said.”

Schneider reports, “U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in Manhattan had dismissed Kodak’s request to rule that Apple had no interest in the group of patents on June 13 and advised the photo company to file the lawsuit. ‘An adversary proceeding will permit the parties to raise issues in an orderly and expeditious fashion and preserve all of their just rights,’ Gropper said at the June 13 hearing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Desperate failures.

Related articles:
Kodak loses ruling in patent fight with Apple – June 14, 2012
Kodak loses ITC ruling in patent case against Apple, beleaguered RIM; judge declares patent invalid – May 21, 2012
Apple claims ownership of digital photography patents asserted by Kodak – January 20, 2012
Kodak files for bankruptcy, secures $950 million lifeline – January 19, 2012


  1. Sure must be great to have the cash pile and push this out , continuously! Like a deep see diver whose air pipe has been shut off at the surface, and now is desperately coming to surface from -100 ft, but will inadvertently suffer from “bends” due to accelerated ascent, if it makes it to top….

    1. Or, they did give Kodak key components of the technology, and therefore do own rights to the patent.
      You are saying Apple shouldn’t be able to stop the sale of their technology by kodak?
      You also insinuate that Is there some faster way Apple could ave done this, care to elaborate?

      1. I think the key here is that back then many companies were not seeking patents like they are today. Apple is looking to prevent someone else from buying its technology that it worked with Kodak with and having that company then sue Apple for infringing..

        Because no one would ever do that…. right??? 🙁

        1. Agreed, RB seemed to insinuate that apple had no valid stance and was just using their might (and cash pile) to stall Kodak till they drowned.

          Given that Apple did contribute key technology to Kodak could they proceed in any more expediant manor? If they can I am not aware of it.
          If they really did give Kodak that tech then they are being as “good guy” as they possibly could (and still, as you pointed out, protect themselves from future patent liability on tech they invented!).

  2. As I recall, Apple helped/pushed Kodak in digital technology and the original Apple digital camera, one if not the first consumer digital camera, was a joint development by Apple and Kodak. It seems on the surface that if Kodak had pursued that direction more diligently, they may not be where they are today. I also thought the disputed patents were part of that co-development. More clarification from someone in the know would be great.

    1. I also remember that Apple and Kodak were jointly awarded patents on the technology in those cameras. The articles of the day clearly talked about the joint patents and what it meant for the companies.

    2. Processing power hadn’t caught up to the demands of digital photos yet.

      Well, actually, what was discussed incessantly at Kodak at the time was how low the resolution of digital sensors was at the time, such that ‘THEY’LL NEVER CATCH UP WITH THE RESOLUTION OF KODAK FILM!’ – – Oops. Digital surpassed it.

      ‘Processing power’ was OK as long as you were willing to wait for the computer to complete the task. Magazines were commonly publishing 8 MB full page images early on, which was adequate for the times. The BIG subject of contention was how much to OVER-res the images such that they would print nicely on the annoying, ghastly, nasty-ass printing presses of that time. I remember endless arguments over the correct formula to use in order to minimize the file size while still getting good visual results. All of this was so primitive compared to today.

      (i used to work at kodak in digital imaging. marketing-as-management there drove me insane, as you can tell). 😯

  3. ‘Apple’s strategy has been to use its substantial cash position to delay as long as possible the payment of royalties to Kodak and to interfere’ with the planned sale, Kodak said.”

    Nothing wrong with that.

    Dont forget Apple co-owns them patents.

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