Kodak Sues Apple Over iPhone Imaging Patent

Kodak Sues Apple Over iPhone Imaging Patent

Photo: bloomsberries/flickr)

Eastman Kodak sued Apple Thursday, claiming the Cupertino, Calif. company infringed patents used to preview images on the iPhone. The lawsuit, before the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeks a stop to the alleged infringement and unspecified damages.

RIM’s BlackBerry is also named in the lawsuit.

“Our primary interest is not to disrupt the availability of any product but to obtain fair compensation for the use of our technology,” said Laura Quatela, a Kodak vice president and chief intellectual property officer. The imaging company is coming off of a Dec. 17 ITC victory, which ruled Samsung camera phones violated Kodak’s patent.

In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Kodak named Samsung among 30 other companies paying licensing fees. Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson were among the firms named as Kodak licensees.

The same patent – No. 6,292,218 – reportedly was the focus of a 2004 lawsuit by Kodak and Sun Microsystems. The company settled the legal complaint after Sun agreed to a licensing deal.

Kodak also sued Apple, charging the company infringed on its patent allowing other applications to “ask for help” in executing certain features.

The Kodak lawsuit is just the latest patent court battle for Apple. In December, cell phone giant Nokia told the ITC “virtually all” Apple products infringe its patents. That lawsuit seeks to block imports of Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPod and Mac. Apple responded by countersuing the Finnish company.

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About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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