Apple acquires several new imaging patents from Kodak deal

By , Apr 30, 2013

(iPhone 5 (white, camera closeup 001)

Earlier this year, Kodak completed the sale of more than 1,000 digital imaging patents in an effort to help restructure the company after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It wanted $2 billion for the portfolio, but only garnered $500 million from a group of companies.

That consortium consisted of several tech giants, including Google and Apple. And according to a new report, their names are starting to turn up on transfer filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, meaning Kodak’s patents are changing hands…

AppleInsider reports:

“Filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed on Tuesday that the transfer of a number of patents from Kodak to Apple has begun, with the iPhone maker taking ownership of several patents covering aspects of digital photography.

Thursday saw the filing of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,432,479, 8,432,472, 8,432,456, and 8,432,461. The patents in question cover measurement of range using a zoom camera, displaying and sharing digital images, and wireless sharing of digital images via a network.”

It’s hard to say what Apple’s exact plans for the patents are, but at the very least they’ll be able to use them to help defend their products against would-be litigators. Practically every device that the company produces has at least one, if not two, built-in digital cameras.

The good news, though, is that it would have a hard time using them to start an patent war with other tech companies, considering most of its major rivals were a part of the winning group. They, along with Kodak, will all have licenses to the stack of digital imaging IP.

Speaking of digital imaging, Apple is set to unveil its next-generation iPhone 5S later this year, and one of its major improvements over its predecessor is expected to be its new camera system. Word has it that it’ll have a double LED flash and up to a 13MP sensor.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.thurmond Justin Thurmond

    Ive also heard and read rumors of a new style lense which is more true to real camera lense with a mechanical iris ! but only rumors, This would really send me over the top and take iPhonetography to the next level. Apple, after all, really prides themselves on the iPhone being a great tool to take pictures at any moment and nearly ALL the time!

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      This sounds all well and good and all but taking this back into reality on planet Earth Apple still has to maintain the same or similar cost for the iPhone with each new update. Customers won’t want to break the bank just to get a phone with a camera-quality-camera…

  • Gorgonphone

    okay so hmm apple wants the iphone to double as a professional quality camera?! okay fine will give us a camera case that allows for telescopic lenses and such oh and its time for an IOS game controller too.. but i know apple wont do any of that…lol