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Print 18 comment(s) - last by lexluthermiest.. on Jul 8 at 1:24 AM

Bankruptcy court ignores Apple's claims

Back in February, Apple petitioned the bankruptcy court overseeing Kodak's proceedings to allow it to file a patent infringement suit against Kodak. Apple wanted to block Kodak's intention to auction off some of its massive patent archive. Apple's argument was that it owned as many as 10 of the patents Kodak was trying to sell.
 
Apple claims that in the 90s, it and Kodak had worked together on a digital camera and Kodak filed for related patents alone. Apple had intended to file infringement claim with the ITC originally, but the ITC rejected the claims. Apple has now been denied by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in its attempt to file a patent suit in US courts against Kodak.
 
The court approved Kodak's request to kick off an auction for 1,100 patents despite the objections made by Apple. The courts are allowing buyers to submit bids on a confidential basis for the auction expected to be held early next month according to Kodak. Kodak has maintained that Apple's claims are baseless as are similar claims made by a company called FlashPoint.
 
"Today's ruling provides a court-approved process allowing buyers to acquire the patents free and clear of all ownership allegations, regardless of the status of the dispute with Apple and FlashPoint at the time of closing," said Timothy Lynch, Kodak Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer. 
 
The company wants to auction off two patent bundles with one of the bundles containing 700 patents that cover image capture, processing, and transmission technologies used in digital cameras and other devices such as smartphones. The other patent portfolio has about 400 patents that cover tools for image analysis, manipulation, tagging, and network based services.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January of this year after being unable to compete against newer companies in the digital marketplace today. Kodak sprung to life in 1892 and was huge in the film and photography business before the advent of digital cameras.

Source: Google



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State of the litigation
By DanNeely on 7/3/2012 1:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Today's ruling provides a court-approved process allowing buyers to acquire the patents free and clear of all ownership allegations, regardless of the status of the dispute with Apple and FlashPoint at the time of closing," said Timothy Lynch, Kodak Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer.


Does that mean the lawsuits are permanently dead; or just that whoever wins the Kodak auction gets the receiving end of several lawsuits thrown in free of charge?




RE: State of the litigation
By bupkus on 7/3/2012 1:49:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Does that mean the lawsuits are permanently dead; or just that whoever wins the Kodak auction gets the receiving end of several lawsuits thrown in free of charge?
Why do you think Apple petitioned the courts? Apple could have simply offered a bid at the auction themselves; after all, Apple does claim to have a huge cash war chest. Instead, they posture aggressively suggesting whoever does win some Kodak patents should expect a courtroom nightmare. Now Apple places their bids hoping to have intimidated other "competitor's" bids. As a competitor, other bidders now need to consider that the price of winning includes an additional expense (both a tax and a penalty) for moving in on a bigger dog's food bowl.
Once again we have Apple using their team of lawyers to reduce their competition.


RE: State of the litigation
By WalksTheWalk on 7/3/2012 2:15:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the price of admission to these patents includes more infringement lawsuits from Apple.

Poor Apple, they are always getting screwed. Apparently everyone is stealing their stuff and no one elsewhere has a creative idea.

Wait...this seems like a pattern for Apple. Maybe they aren't getting corked at every turn and they are just a very litigious company gaming the system?


RE: State of the litigation
By ProZach on 7/3/2012 3:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe they aren't getting corked at every turn and they are just a very litigious company gaming the system?

If someone took a picture of a horse's butt Apple is probably has a good argument to having invented it. After all, if public image is dictated by behavior, then...


By lexluthermiester on 7/8/2012 1:17:28 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, your interpretation is incorrect. Any patents sold from this bankruptcy shall be immune to infringement litigation. However, in Apples' case, they could file a claim with the patent office to invalidate the patents based on the possibility that they were awarded improperly. But because of the bankruptcy, Apple would not be able to re-file the patents. They would become public domain. This kind of thing has happened before and this is how it often turns out.

Apple will not gain the patents but they will, along with anyone else, be able to use them without penalty.


RE: State of the litigation
By ElFenix on 7/3/2012 6:13:36 PM , Rating: 4
When you buy things at a bankruptcy auction they are bought free and clear of all claims against them.


RE: State of the litigation
By JediJeb on 7/3/2012 7:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Does that mean the lawsuits are permanently dead; or just that whoever wins the Kodak auction gets the receiving end of several lawsuits thrown in free of charge?


I would say this means if you buy it it is yours without worry about Apple ect having any claims. I imagine the court is saying that since Apple has waited until now to try to force the issue, then they must not have had a legitimate claim in the first place, if they did, they should have kept pursuing it years ago.

On the other hand, could it be that there is something in those patents that once someone buys them they figure out Apple is infringing and maybe will turn around and sue Apple for infringement? I wonder if that could be what has Apple trying to stop the sale?


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer














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