Apple Sues Kodak in Manhattan District Court, Takes Advantage of Film Giant's Poor Position
February 15, 2012 12:30 PM
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Apple asked a bankruptcy judge if it could file a patent infringement lawsuit against Kodak yesterday
As if repeatedly attacking Samsung, HTC and Motorola Mobility with patent infringement lawsuits wasn't enough, Apple is now looking to kick Kodak while it's down with digital camera, printer and digital picture frame-related infringement suits as well.
Apple's Valentine's Day present to Kodak was a filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York yesterday, where Apple said it is filing
claims against Kodak with the International Trade Commission (ITC) as well as the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Apple asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue Kodak first, despite the fact that filing for bankruptcy doesn't protect Kodak from infringement suits.
Apple had claimed before that it created a digital camera in the 1990's along with Kodak, but Kodak supposedly moved ahead with patenting the camera on its own. Apple had filed the case with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, where the ITC rejected Apple's claims. Yesterday, Apple said in the filing that it wanted to move the case to Manhattan.
On January 19, 2012,
Eastman Kodak announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
. The 131-year-old film giant filed in the federal bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York after mentioning in November 2011 that it would be unable to pay its bills at some point in 2012 unless it stumbled upon some quick cash.
Just last week, Kodak announced that it was also
bailing on the digital camera market
as well as photo frames and pocket video recorders.
Kodak sent a patent infringement lawsuit back Apple's way last month, which also targeted Motorola Mobility. However, Apple argued that the ITC shouldn't even bother with the claims because of Kodak's bankruptcy filing and the sale of its patents. Kodak responded, saying that bankruptcy isn't stopping Kodak from expanding its digital imaging technology.
"Apple should not be using the bankruptcy to seek to disrupt Kodak's enforcement of its patents given that infringers like Apple, who continue to violate Kodak's intellectual property rights and refuse to properly compensate it, have contributed to Kodak's current circumstances," said Kodak.
Apple has been on a lawsuit crusade over the past year, mainly targeting Samsung. In April 2011, Apple began attacking Samsung with several patent infringement lawsuits in regards to the South Korean electronics maker's Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G, Nexus smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple claimed that these products imitate the iPhone and iPad.
Apple even successfully banned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and Germany, but Samsung finally
lifted the ban in Australia
in December 2011. Samsung is still having troubles in Germany, however.
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RE: Not the whole story
2/17/2012 2:51:16 AM
I'm not iPhobic. I'm realistic. Apple's policies towards the industry in general will kill innovation. Rather than innovate, they litigate. While I personally think the iPhone is usually representative of the latest and greatest in phone hardware, that isn't really the case this time around with the 4S.
And while I obviously have no evidence to support this, I think if you surveyed customers of flagship level, premium devices, the results would be very close between iPhone and android. It's unfair to compare the results of a survey of people who own an LG Optimus to people who own an iPhone. Even the 3GS which is now free, was once the flagship phone from Apple. It still has excellent build quality and a good selection of apps optimized for it.
I'd be very interested to see the level of customer satisfaction between owners of a GS2 vs a 4S. Honestly, hardware wise that is the only fair comparison on the market right now and I bet the results are pretty close. I can't pull my phone out anywhere without people asking about it, even in non tech crowds.
"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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