Kodak's Legacy? Arms Dealer For The Patent Wars?

from the selling-off-the-pieces dept

As many people expected, Kodak has officially moved to sell off its patents to whoever can abuse them the most. Since the company is in bankruptcy, it needs permission to do this, but that's the easy part. These days, thanks to a totally broken patent and legal system, the patents are incredibly "valuable." Not because they represent any kind of actual innovation, but because they represent a magic tollbooth that lets the holder force other companies to pay. Of course, some of that magic wore off last month when the ITC noticed that one of Kodak's key patents -- one that it had used to score nearly a billion dollars in licensing revenue, was blatantly obvious and never should have been granted in the first place. Kodak claims it's going to appeal, but the patent sale will likely happen prior to any appeal going through. Either way, like other companies who failed to keep up with a changing market (hello, Nortel!), Kodak's final legacy may be supplying weapons to yet another battle in the era of technology patent nuclear war. It's not something to be proud of.

Filed Under: bankruptcy, itc, patent troll
Companies: kodak, nortel


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2012 @ 3:14am

    "...the ITC noticed that one of Kodak's key patents -- one that it had used to score nearly a billion dollars in licensing revenue, was blatantly obvious and never should have been granted in the first place."

    Assuming that this decision is upheld after the appeal, how do we fix this boneheaded mistake?

    The government granted someone a special privilege based on assumptions that turned out to be false. There should be some sort of compensation for those affected by this error, meaning, each and every American.

    Heads should roll (and not in the metaphorical sense). If we just let this slide, we are basically rewarding incompetence from the USPTO and sneakiness from the corporations, who systematically abuse the patent system.

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