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Apple asks to sue bankrupt Kodak in retaliation

updated 09:30 am EST, Wed February 15, 2012

Apple wants right to sue during Kodak bankruptcy

Apple filed with the New York state court handling Kodak's bankruptcy to ask for permission to sue the camera maker over patents. It wanted both a civil lawsuit and an ITC trade dispute over patents relating to digital cameras, photo frames, and printers. The iPhone designer didn't believe it necessarily needed to ask before suing, but was practicing an "abundance of caution" before it went ahead.

The complaint would be an attempt to counter Kodak's most recent lawsuit, which it filed with full knowledge it was about to declare bankruptcy days later. Kodak is believed to have sued after it was denied a quick ITC decision that it could use to try and extract a quick settlement out of Apple and RIM.

Apple had previously tried claiming to own patents Kodak was using to get bankruptcy loans, likely as a bargaining chip to push Kodak into settling or dropping its cases. The measure was rejected by the ITC. Another lawsuit is also frozen during the bankruptcy restructuring phase.

Kodak's bankruptcy in mid-January has widely been credited to its own attempt to use patents in place of competition. Having been late to and ineffective in digital cameras, the company decided that its patents gave it effective ownership of camera technology in smartphones and that it would make a large part of its revenue from royalties and lawsuit settlements. The early camera pioneer at one point hoped to get $1 billion from Apple and RIM and to make hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the deals, or more than its then declining camera business. [via Bloomberg]

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That's kickin' 'em while they're down.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Standard Microsoft Practice

    your comment

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Bogartte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Brings an idea to mind...

    I would like to sue Apple for discontinuing support of PPC. Or, I could sue them for dropping iDisk where I have my website stored. Etc., etc....

  1. BigMac2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Need history lessons...

    @Arne, once again you clearly demonstrated your lack of common knowledge of computer history.

    I can't find any relation between the buy for cheap or steal strategy from Microsoft and Apple being sue by Kodak for patent they co-developped. In case you're too young to remember, Kodak first general public digital camera was the Apple Quicktake.

  1. Flyingjoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Early to the game

    I don't think Kodak was late to digital cameras at all. For example, they made this revolutionary attachment for my PalmPilot, turning it into a digital camera - where there was nothing like it out there.

    They just weren't successful - not making quite the right products for the time. For me it was great! I was in India for 5 months in 2000, with no computer, so I was able to store hundreds of digital photos in my palmpilot. resolution was terrible, but then most digital cameras were, back then.

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