Kodak Sues Apple Over Imaging Patents

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Follow on: Google +

Troubled Kodak seeks court order and accuses Apple of sabotaging its patent auction

Troubled photography company Kodak is suing Apple over allegations that the iPhone maker is intentionally scuppering plans to sell its collection of patents.

In a complaint to the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Kodak claimed Apple was attempting to “delay and derail” its efforts to shift the patents, which relate to digital imaging, as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.

Apple is considered a potential buyer and is claiming ownership of ten patents, something which Kodak says is an attempt to prevent it from receiving a fair price.

New Kodak moment

Kodak is seeking a court order for an injunction that bars Apple from asserting ownership. The complaint comes just a week after US bankruptcy judge Alan Gropper rejected Kodak’s request for such an order, adding that the dispute could be resolved through an adversary proceeding.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January in an effort to save itself and has identified the sale of its 1,100 patents as essential to any restructuring. Kodak has sought court approval to auction the patents and said it needs the order for the sale, which it argued is “critical” for its reorganisation.

Kodak sued Apple, along with RIM, in 2010, claiming the two companies had infringed its patents relating to digital imaging technology. The lawsuits led to an investigation by the US International Trade Commission. Kodak believes Apple is the largest infringer of the patents that it is currently trying to sell.

How well do you know patents? Find out with our quiz!