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Kodak sues Samsung in last-gasp patent dispute

updated 05:05 pm EST, Wed January 18, 2012

Kodak claims Samsung violates camera patents

Kodak showed the mounting extent of its troubles Wednesday by suing Samsung over camera patents. It accused the Galaxy Tab designer of violating five patents for "electronic camera" technology, such as capturing photos during previews and transferring them online. It unusually singled out tablets, not smartphones, as purportedly infringing its work.

The case, filed in a Western District of New York court, follows just a week after Kodak sued Apple and HTC for their own mobile camera uses.

Legal action follows signs that Kodak may be running out of options to survive based on its actual products. Although it has licensing deals with LG, Motorola, and Nokia, it hasn't had success pressuring Apple and RIM. The once large camera designer may declare bankruptcy and has been looking to sell patents that it was previously using as weapons against others.

More recently, Kodak was believed by Wall Street Journal sources to be looking at a chief restructuring officer, or an executive that would be key to managing a corporate shakeup and guaranteeing financing so that it could emerge solvent. A CRO coming onboard can be a sign that bankruptcy is expected within weeks.

The lawsuits are a wager on Kodak's part that it can recover in bankruptcy and will still exist as a company by the time any patent lawsuit goes to trial.

by MacNN Staff



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