Feeds

Kodak says Apple patent moves prevent any end to its misery

Cupertino 'using its substantial cash position to delay'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.