Kodak sues, tells Apple: 'get off our patents'

Kodak is suing Apple over claims that some of the patents in a portfolio, which Kodak needs to sell off to survive bankruptcy, in fact belong to Apple.

Kodak has accused Apple of attempting to derail plans to sell off the patent portfolio which the company needs to shed for it to survive.

The former photo giant — which filed for bankruptcy protection in January — is suing the maker of the shiny rectangles, in a bid to hold onto what it claims is its patents.

Apple and spin-off company FlashPoint Technology, which was also named in the suit, claimed ownership of the patents through a project the two companies worked on during the early 1990s, according to Reuters.

The patents relate to camera viewfinders on LCD screens, the filing said.

But Kodak says that these patents are part of its patent portfolio, which has more than 700 patents for use in digital cameras and smartphones. Kodak have said that these patents have generated more than US$3 billion in licensing revenues since 2001.

It comes only a week after US Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper dismissed Kodak's request to rule that Apple had "no interest" in the sale, but instead advised the company to file a suit, Bloomberg reported.

As one might expect, Kodak hit back and claimed that Apple was the largest infringer of patents in that portfolio, while hinting that it could therefore be a buyer of some of those patents.

It claimed that Apple was splashing cash around to delay the sale, which the company needs to sell as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.

"Apple and FlashPoint are seeking to benefit from Kodak's difficult financial position," the company said. "Which will be exacerbated if the debtors cannot obtain fair value for the patents."

Apple responded, saying that the US District Court in Manhattan, New York, should hear the dispute rather than the bankruptcy court, and blasted Kodak for using its need for urgency in a time of financial troubles to "ramrod through a procedurally flawed and substantively meritless motion."

Via ZDNet US

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