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For a Second Time: Kodak Sues Apple, Claims Interference in Patent Sales

Kodak which is largely regarded as the pioneer of photography has once again sued Apple in a bid to prevent the smartphone maker from inhibiting plans to dispose a huge chunk of its intellectual property portfolio. The plan to dispose some of Kodak’s patent rights is in line with its reengineering scheme.

In a lawsuit which was filed in a bankruptcy court in the United States, Kodak claimed that Apple which is the biggest company in the US according to its market share, erroneously claim to possess ten patents rising from some of the joint ventures the two companies worked on in the 1990s. FlashPoint Technology Inc is another company which is also claiming patent ownership as a result of work that it did for Apple.

Revenue from Kodak Patent Portfolio

Some of the patents that Kodak is suing Apple for consist of technology which assist camera proprietors to preview images on LCD screens. These are part and parcel of digital-capture collection owned by Kodak. The company claims that the patent portfolio comprises of over 700 patents for gadgets like tablets, digital cameras as well as smartphones. The patent portfolio has managed to collect over $3 billion in profits from the year 2001.

According to the lawsuit, Apple is the biggest violator of intellectual property rights within that collection in addition to being the being a prospective buyer of the patents. The interference of the sale is due to the fact that Apple has been using it significant cash reserves to try as much as possible to delay the payments of royalties which are due to Kodak. In the lawsuit, Kodak claims that Apple alongside FlashPoint are looking for ways through which they can greatly benefit financially from the current financial difficulty that Kodak is facing.

In its response to the lawsuit filed against it, Apple claimed that some of the issues raised in the lawsuit ought to be heard in a federal district court instead of a bankruptcy court. In addition, it claimed that Kodak was simply looking for an unjust “rush to judgment.”

Patents Owned By Kodak

According to records, Kodak owns roughly 11,000 patents. The digital-capture as well as digital-imaging patent portfolio is currently being marketed by Lazard. The digital imaging portfolio consists of over 400 intellectual property rights. In the lawsuit, the Kodak claimed that over 20 potential buyers had already signed confidentiality contracts.

Kodak needs roughly $950 million in intellectual property rights sales in order to settle a loan which the company secured in order to continue with its operations. The company stated that it is expecting to auction some of its patents in August. The winning bidder will be declared on 13th August, 2012.

Kodak had earlier filed for bankruptcy on 19th January, 2012 as a way of safeguarding its interests. It is not yet known whether the lawsuit case will be settled by the time Kodak will be auctioning its intellectual property rights and whether the company will revert to its profitable status.

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