Back in January we ran a story regarding the on-going legal issues between Apple and the 131 year old photography company Kodak. Back then, Kodak intended to file a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, concerning 4 Kodak owned patents.

Just a little over a month on and the tables have well and truly been turned. According to the Rochester Business Journal, Apple is now seeking permission to file new patent-infringement claims against Eastman Kodak Co. Apple’s counter-claim is that Kodak actually stole the idea for these patents in the first place…

The patents in question relate to a long-standing dispute with Kodak over the rights to digital image capture technology that is present in iPads and iPhones. Kodak filed for bankruptcy on 19th January, but long before that, the company filed a suit over the infringement of imaging patents – owned by Kodak.

The RBJ goes on to report:

Actions in U.S. federal courts and before the International Trade Commission were pending when Kodak asked for Chapter 11 protection last month.

Apple maintains in the Bankruptcy Court filing that provisions that would normally halt non-bankruptcy court actions against debtors should not apply to its ongoing patent battle with Kodak but that it is seeking a green light from the Bankruptcy Court anyway out of “an excess of caution.”

We talk about the on-going legal battles surrounding Apple quite a lot here at iDB, and one thing is for sure, if you are going to file a lawsuit against one of the biggest companies in the world, be prepared to have the ball thrown back in your court at some point in the future. We will be sure to keep you updated on this one.

Can you see this ending in Apple’s favor?

  • Anonymous

    Actually I can not. It’s not a matter of who owns the patent, but the fact that Kodak is bankrupt. Apple’s lawyers highlight the issue… here:
    “… provisions that would normally halt non-bankruptcy court actions against debtors…”

    I doubt there’s anything that could “halt” these provisions. Preventing lawsuits is actually one of the reasons people file for bankruptcy in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    It amuses me somewhat how many articles on Apple blogs that relate to Apple suing somebody, seem to be almost endorsed by many fanboys and other Apple fans alike. If any other company acted in the way Apple do with regards to lawsuits, people would be up in arms, slagging them off constantly but because it’s Apple you seem to think it is ok.

    I don’t share this apparent view that it is in someway good for the consumer that Apple try and run any competitor out of business, they already charge way over the odds for many of their products, especially their Mac’s and a world where Apple rules and their isn’t a choice for consumers is not a world I want to see.

    I understand the whole patents business and a company defending its patents is perfectly understandable but the one thing that strikes me is regardless of who uses “slide to unlock” and many other features doesn’t mean anything if Apple are confident their devices will sell. Competition is healthy and I personally like having choice, I don’t want the day to come when Apple have sued every rival and are the only option for phones, tablets and pc’s because i’m pretty sure that everybody won’t be so happy if the prices of devices went through the roof because there weren’t any alternatives.

    • Emre SÜMENGEN

      You really think so? Count the articles, you’ll see that more than half of “legal battle” scripts are about other companies suing Apple…

      • Now count how many judges are in favor of Apple. Hmm…around 9/10.

      • Apple is the one who is suing everyone really. Apple vs samsung, apple vs htc, apple vs google, apple vs kodak. Only thing they can do is to countersue. Only one i know of thats the other way around is Motorola vs apple.

      • Exactly… and for “some reason” I don’t see too much battling between Jens’ mentioned companies, it’s always Apple in the main frame! Other companies are already used to the competition, but Apple is the one who cannot face it.

      • Emre SUMENGEN

        Or, one might argue that other companies don’t have that many HIT features, that competition wants so dearly to steal…

        Just a point of view.

  • Anonymous

    That’s right, kick the dead body, Apple.

  • Emre SÜMENGEN

  • Emre SÜMENGEN

    LOL, the “dead body” had enough wits to sue Apple in the first place, just one-or-two months ago… Don’t forget that…

    PS: Why does the site think I’m posting a new comment, when actually it’s a reply?

  • Anonymous

    I love Apple products, but why do Apple and other companies/patent trolls go to such great lengths to be arseholes? Corporate greed and patent paranoia. Yes all other major companies do it too, but that doesn’t make the system any better.

    I’m sure half of the readers here would have seen them already, but if not – check out the series of short films entitled “Everything is a Remix” on Vimeo. After watching them you’d have to be insane not to realise how absurd the current patent system and courtroom battles for “intellectual property” truly are.

    • And if that keeps on, this Evolution will stop eventually, because every company will have exclusivity over its “patents”, and you’ll have to chose between features in devices: a phone will have feature A, but will not have feature B, because its somehow “owned” by another company. And then, screw you “full-featured smartphone”… The law dooms our future…

      • Anonymous

        Spot on. Its a sad state of affairs isn’t it? The problem is the current system is so entrenched in the free market and legal system, that it would take some massive changes to undo. We’d need a group of politicians smart enough and brave enough (how many smart and brave politicians do you know of?? 😉 ) to take on Hollywood, the RMA and pretty much every other large group with oodles of patents, & obscene amounts of money and power. The holders of intellectual property patents would spend every cent they had on lobby groups and in court to make sure the current system remains.

        I’m not feeling particularly optimistic about any changes being made soon. If anything its going to have to get a lot worse before it gets better 🙁

  • Anonymous

    I want to go back into history