Feeds

Kodak says Apple patent moves prevent any end to its misery

Cupertino 'using its substantial cash position to delay'

High performance access to file storage

Bankrupt photography veteran Eastman Kodak is suing Apple in the US, claiming the fruity firm is trying to interfere with its plans to sell its patent portfolio.

Flogging off its intellectual property is a major part of the company's bankruptcy restructuring but it can't go ahead while Apple is claiming that some of Kodak's patents actually belong to it.

Kodak alleged that Apple is wrongly claiming the right to ten patents, which all came from work the companies did together in the early 90s. Kodak says it's been licensing and litigating the patents in question for years and Apple never said a word until it went into bankruptcy proceedings. The photo firm also alleges that Apple is the "single largest infringer" of the patents.

Just to add to the confusion, former Apple subsidiary FlashPoint Technology is also claiming ownership of the same ten patents, which it says it got before it was spun off from the fruity firm in 1996.

The allegations stem from a time when Kodak worked with Apple on digital camera technology between 1992 and 1994. According to Kodak, the firms signed an agreement back then that they'd both hang onto their own intellectual property. The photo firm claims that Apple's legal machinations are nothing but an attempt to hold up its restructuring.

"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 Debtors’ planned sale of the Digital Capture Portfolio," the filing said. "Apple and FlashPoint are seeking to benefit from Kodak’s difficult financial position, which will be exacerbated if the Debtors cannot obtain fair value for the patents in the Digital Capture Portfolio."

The International Trade Commission has already investigated one of the disputed patents and rejected Apple's ownership claim. Nevertheless, Apple is trying to get the patent argument moved out of Bankruptcy Court and into a District Court as a normal patent court case. Kodak claims this as another delaying tactic, since an ordinary patent lawsuit can take years to sort out.

The camera company wants the bankruptcy court to rule on the patents and quickly so that it can get on with its sale and is also seeking whatever damages the court might think it's entitled to. Apple has yet to respond to the filing. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.