Kodak piles on, sues Apple and HTC over imaging patents

Kodak piles on, sues Apple and HTC over imaging patents
Struggling imaging company Eastman Kodak is looking for a buyer for its IP, and it has apparently kicked off its "restructuring" by suing Apple and HTC. Kodak is asserting 5 patents against HTC, and four of those against Apple – the one “missing” patent is already being asserted against Apple (and RIM) in an ITC proceeding.

Why now? Kodak is restructuring as it goes through chapter 11 bankruptcy, and acquiring either licensing fees or selling off its patents for a huge paycheck would greatly ease the burden of red ink they are trying to crawl out from under. Of course none of us want to see yet another front open up in the mobile patent wars, but on the upshot Kodak is more interested in going the Microsoft licensing strategy than the nuclear “all your products are belong to us” strategy that Apple has employed (and HTC and Samsung have followed suit in).

The four patents in question that apply to both cases are:

U.S. Patent No. 7,210,161 on "automatically transmitting images from an electronic camera to a service provider using a network configuration file"

U.S. Patent No. 7,742,084 on a "network configuration file for automatically transmitting images from an electronic still camera"

U.S. Patent No. 7,453,605 on "capturing digital images to be transferred to an e-mail address"

U.S. Patent No. 7,936,391 on a "digital camera with communications interface for selectively transmitting images over a cellular phone network and a wireless LAN network to a destination"

And the “bonus patent” being asserting against HTC (and which Apple is fighting separately in the ITC):

U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 on an "electronic camera for initiating capture of still images while previewing motion images"

Interestingly, HTC’s Windows Phone devices are not mentioned in the complaint. We’re not sure if there’s some larger strategy at stake there, or if Microsoft could already have a license, or if WP7 sales simply aren’t big enough to bring a lawsuit over yet.

Based on the cunning “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” philosophy, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents believes Apple and HTC are likely to work together on a joint defense, or at least joint research for said defense. We’ll be sure to keep you abreast of any developments.

source: FOSS Patents

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8 Comments

1. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Why am I not surprised that yet another giant company is asserting its longstanding patents against apple... the 200 apple acquired for the silly thing when it came out really weren't enough, especially as some of them have already been nullified

2. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Kodak is going bankrupt soon. So not surprised they are doing this. I hope they squeeze something out of apple though.

8. Paden

Posts: 262; Member since: Jul 07, 2011

My thoughts exactly. Why didn't they sue earlier? They weren't hurt by the smartphone market then. Now? Different story. Most people's digital cameras are collecting dust, because they prefer the convenience of smartphone cameras (professional photography excluded).

3. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Apple and htc working together aw my two favorite companies are going to beat down kodak lol

4. flopjoke

Posts: 42; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

2011 - 2012: War of the patents. Can't say who did what anymore.

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Oh that picture! It's the same used on every lawsuit case we need a new one. :s

6. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

APPLE - you reap what you sow.....

7. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

Hmmm place your bets place your bets

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