In what seems to be Kodak’s last try at survival, the company has decided to take both Apple and HTC to court with a patent infringement lawsuit. The almost bankrupt camera manufacturer has filed complaints with the International Trade Commission and the Western District of New York, claiming that Apple and HTC infringe on four of Kodak’s patents.
The patents mentioned in the lawsuit are the following:
- US Patent No. 7,210,161 – “Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Camera to a Service Provider Using a Network Configuration File”
- US Patent No. 7,742,084 – “Network Configuration File for Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Still Camera”
- US Patent No. 7,453,605 – “Capturing Digital Images to be Transferred to an E-Mail Address”
- US Patent No. 7,936,391 – “Digital Camera with Communications Interface for Selectively Transmitting Images over a Cellular Phone Network and a Wireless LAN Network to a Destination”
As usual, these patents are as broad as they come. Especially number three, which I’m pretty sure is used by almost every cell phone nowadays.
The complaint filed through the ITC asks for many of these “infringing” devices to be banned from importation, while the US lawsuit looks to prevent “further infringement, as well as the recovery of damages.” Kodak’s Timothy M. Lynch explained the reasoning behind these lawsuits:
We seek to avoid litigation in our licensing programs whenever possible. But when the infringement is persistent, we will act to defend the interests of our shareholders and licensees, and to promote the fair compensation that is the bedrock of innovation.Timothy M. LynchKodak's Chief Intellectual Property Officer
In other words, Kodak wants some money. Whether they get it before completely dying is another issue altogether. Meanwhile, we’ll just put this in the “pointless lawsuits that will go nowhere” bin.