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Kodak piles on, sues Apple and HTC over imaging patents

Posted: , by Scott H.

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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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posted on 10 Jan 2012, 17:59 2

1. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 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

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 18:19 7

2. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

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

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 10:44

8. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 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).

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 19:57 1

3. biophone (Posts: 1994; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

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

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 21:17

4. flopjoke (Posts: 42; Member since: 05 Jan 2012)

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

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 21:38

5. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

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

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 22:07 1

6. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

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

posted on 11 Jan 2012, 08:52

7. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)

Hmmm place your bets place your bets

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