Can't Innovate? Litigate! Kodak Goes After Apple, RIM For Patent Infringement In Both Courts And ITC

from the but-of-course dept

We actually had some high hopes for Kodak not to go down this road, as it had shown some desire to actually focus on innovation, rather than going the litigation route, but apparently that wasn't working. As a bunch of you have sent in, Kodak has decided to go after both Apple and RIM for patent infringement -- and like so many these days, it's going for a double dip by filing a lawsuit in the courts and separately using the ITC loophole as well. How often do we see this? A company with a legacy business that is under threat of innovation... and it suddenly starts focusing on patent lawsuits rather than concentrating on actually adapting. Sure, it can try to do both at once, but it's rare to see that happen. Once the company breaks out the patent lawsuits, it's almost screaming out that its innovation efforts aren't very successful.


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  1.  
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    AdamR (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    I guess 200 patents isn't enough ? So many of these law suits has Apple been hit with, I guess the next I-Phone will have at least 300 + cover its ass.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 7:25pm

    I never realized that Kodak was a non-innovative company, thus falling back on simply filing lawsuits.

     

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  3.  
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    AdamR (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 8:33pm

    Re:

    So innovative that you don't even know what they innovated. I skimmed over the patent, can't their complaint also apply to anything the with a ccd sensor like a webcam(like the one’s built in to netbooks and notebooks)?

     

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  4.  
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    bob, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 9:17pm

    Kodak The New Poloroid

    That's how I see it.
    Just like Bell & Howell.

     

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  5.  
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    transmaster (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 11:17pm

    Poor Kodak stayed with film cameras way to long by the time they started producing digital cameras everyone else had already staked out the market. Bell & Howell indeed, all of the domestic brands that have gone down the tubes, Fisher, Emerson, Zenith, to name just a few. Now Kodak will follow. Like the before mentioned marques the name will still be there but considering what it once was it will not be worth shelf space in a pawn shop. We can now call them Suedak.

     

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  6.  
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    dwind (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 4:56am

    Maybe Apple will buy Kodak.

     

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  7.  
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    CStrek (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 5:33am

    More information...

    I read an article yesterday...Based on comments from Kodak they have been in talks with RIM and Apple for many months and could not come to an agreement. Does this mean they wanted to much for royalties?? Most likely or the other two didn't want to pay a reasonable amount.
    Something else to note is that Kodak was the innovator in digital cameras and most every maker of digital cameras and camera phones has a licensing agreement with Kodak.
    This may seem like the typical I have patents and want to sue because you used them, but this might also be the rare occasion where the suing company is actually in the right.

     

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  8.  
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    Michael, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 5:45am

    Re: More information...

    Even if they are in the "right", isn't this just a horrible use of patents?

    Apple is not making cameras. They are making phones, music players, and computers (they still make those, I think). What they have done is innovative. Yes, they built on another technology that Kodak came up with first, but why should Kodak get anything from this?

    I understand Kodak getting paid for it's innovation by another camera company, but someone in a completely different market? It just looks like a tax on success to me.

     

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  9.  
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    staff, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 6:23am

    really mean

    "Can't Innovate? Litigate!"

    What you really mean is "Can't invent? Steal!!". Apple and RIM have a long history of theft. They are pure pirates.

     

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  10.  
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    Onnala (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    Kodak, and innovation.

    Actually, Kodak is a highly innovative company and are well within their rights to sue apple and rim. If you actually read things over, motorola... nokia... ect.. all pay Kodak for their digital imaging patents that they use on their phones handsets.

    Kodak has transformed itself to a purely digital imaging company now for some time and a lot of their technology has made it into movies and the like. Their consumer presence isn't there as much, but their print paper for doing photoprints are some of the best out there.

    This isn't a case of someone suing because they couldn't innovate, this is a case of a company suing others for 'not' paying up when they have innovated.

    Everyone else out there got a license to technology for digital imagining held by a company that does digital imaging. Odd... that doesn't sound bad at all.

     

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  11.  
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    Onnala (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: AdamR

    Its can and does. Motorola, Nokia, Sony, ect all license the technology.

     

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  12.  
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    Onnala (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: More information...

    Not making cameras? Was reading in the tech news that apple was finally going to bump up the camra in the iphone from 3MP to 5MP as phones like the droid and such are already running with a 5MP camra that is better then the point and shoot ones you could get 8 years ago.

    So how again are they not making cameras?

     

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  13.  
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    MCR, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: More information...

    I think what he's pointing out is that nobody buys an iPhone just to take pictures. There are better & cheaper digital cameras on the market.

     

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  14.  
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    AdamR (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 9:23am

    Re: Kodak, and innovation.

    Sorry to break it to you but some of those companies did not choose to license those Kodak patents they were forced to by threat of lawsuit! Anyone know if the patent in question could apply this

    “I skimmed over the patent, can't their complaint also apply to anything the with a ccd sensor like a webcam(like the one’s built in to netbooks and notebooks)? I skimmed over the patent, can't their complaint also apply to anything the with a ccd sensor like a webcam(like the one’s built in to netbooks and notebooks)?”

     

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  15.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re: really mean

    Do you mean to suggest that Apple and RIM really did steal Kodak's "picture preview" technology?

    Another example of a ridiculous patent, and a ridiculous company trying to enforce it.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Kodak, and innovation.

    Really? One company sitting around extorting money from half an industry doesn't sound bad at all to you?

     

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  17.  
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    PhotoSci, Jan 16th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    What You Do with a Patent

    Oh, come on! Why should a company spend the money to innovate if it can't make a return on that investment? You do the research to come up with an invention (and Kodak has been one of the leading innovators in the patent literature for decades)so that you can use the innovation in your products or charge others to use it in theirs. That's the whole idea of patents: to ecourage people to invent by giving them exclusive rights to regulate how others will use that invention. Kodak itself has licensed hundreds of patents from other companies. Why shouldn't others pay Kodak when they use its technology? Complaining when a company exercises its patent rights is so silly it shouldn't even be a topic of discussion.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 18th, 2010 @ 12:44am

    Re: What You Do with a Patent

    Oh, come on! Why should a company spend the money to innovate if it can't make a return on that investment?

    No one said they can't make a return on their investment. They should just do so in the marketplace by selling products and services.

    You do the research to come up with an invention (and Kodak has been one of the leading innovators in the patent literature for decades)so that you can use the innovation in your products or charge others to use it in theirs. That's the whole idea of patents: to ecourage people to invent by giving them exclusive rights to regulate how others will use that invention.

    Yes. That's the idea. In practice... not so much. It's used as a way to stop competition and slow down innovation.

    Complaining when a company exercises its patent rights is so silly it shouldn't even be a topic of discussion.

    Telling people what they can and cannot discuss seems like a sillier topic for discussion, does it not?

    Read up on how patents are abused and then come back and tell us if we shouldn't be discussing it.

     

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  19.  
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    geiger, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 4:50am

    Patent trolls

    Kodak isn't a patent troll like Eolas that makes no product, does no research, and only litigates.

    Kodak researches, innovates, patents, designs, and sells. They also ask for payment for use of their patents. What's the problem?

     

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  20.  
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    Kodak Playsport, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Kodak Playsport

    And the next will be Fujitsu coming after apple for IPAD infringement

     

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  21.  
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    Schmeckie, Jul 12th, 2010 @ 9:15am

    Apple to close down soon?

    I've been hearing more and more of talk like this. Tell me what you think. http://www.lieconomy.com/fourm/index.php/topic,641.0.html

     

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  22.  
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    Kodak PlaySport, Dec 8th, 2010 @ 10:13pm

    maybe a follow up?

    Since this topic is rather old.. do we know exactly what happened? I know it'll be years before you find anything.. but it would be nice to see a follow-up post on this.

     

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  23.  
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    47LD520 (profile), Feb 24th, 2011 @ 6:29pm

    It makes you think

    The more you actually see this kind of stuff happen you could begin to think all companies try to pull stuff like this. Too many companies trying to steal from each other. The coporate world is a vicious one... :( But was there a follow up?

     

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