The Impending Feud of Apple and Kodak

In the ongoing feud between Apple and Kodak regarding patent rights, Apple has filed a patent infringement suit in the US District Court against Kodak, along with the complaint in the International Trade Commission (ITC). The complaints from Apples court came nearly after four months, after Kodak launched ITC complaints along with the Lawsuit against Apple and RIM, regarding the violation of the Kodak patents for the camera in mobile devices.

Kodak first claimed in January that iPhone and Blackberry violated couple of patents regarding the digital imaging. The patents filed by Kodak against Apple and RIM include:

  • “Electronic Camera for Initiating Capture of Still Images while Previewing Motion Images” (US Patent #6,292,218) and
  • “Single Sensor Color Camera with User Selectable Image Record Size” (US Patent #5,493,335)

Along with these, Kodak filed patents against Apple regarding the infringement of other three software patents which include:

  • “Integration of Data Between Typed Objects by Mutal [sic], Direct Invocation Between Data Managers Corresponding to Data Types” (US Patent #5,226,161)
  • “Multitasking Computer System for Integrating the Operation of Different Application Programs which Manipulate Data Objects of Different Types” (US Patent #5,421,012) and
  • “Link Mechanism for Linking Data Between Objects and for Performing Operations on the Linked Data in an Object Based System” (US Patent #5,303,379).

In the response of these patents filed by Kodak, Apple claimed that the patents filed by Kodak are invalid stating procedural issues, duplication of other patents and obviousness of some of the patents’ claims as a valid reason. Apple requested the US District Court to find the patents invalid. Apple also stated that in case the patents are not invalid, it is still liable to use the technology as it has an express license.

Apple has also alleged Kodak of violating two of its patents in digital still and video cameras. The two patents filed by Apple include:

  • “System and Method for Using a Unified Memory Architecture to Implement a Digital Camera Device” (US Patent #6,031,964) and
  • “Modular Digital Image Processing via an Image Processing Chain with Modifiable Parameter Controls”

Nearly all the still image cameras and the recently launched SLICE models of Kodak have been targeted by Apple for patent violation.

Over the years Apple has strongly opposed any patent infringement of its products, as it damages their brand identity. Since Apple is the first company to set a trend in the gadget market, it becomes necessary for it to protect its patent database.

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