WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesús.
Troubled photography company Eastman Kodak filed lawsuits against Apple and HTC, alleging the infringement of patents related to digital imaging.
In a complaint filed with the US International Trade Commission, it was claimed that “certain of Apple’s iPhones, iPads and iPods, and certain of HTC’s smartphones and tablets, infringe Kodak’s patents that relate to technology for transmitting images.” It also said that some HTC products infringe a patent that covers technology related to a method for previewing images, which is already the subject of pending actions against Apple (and RIM).
Separately, suits were filed against Apple and HTC in the US district court for New York, alleging the same infringement.
Kodak is seeking an exclusion order from the ITC, preventing the importation of affected devices. In the district court, it is seeking to permanently bar Apple and HTC from further infringement, as well as the recovery of damages.
In a statement, Laura Quatela, president and COO of Eastman Kodak (pictured), said: “We’ve had numerous discussions with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement.”
Kodak has struggled to capitalise on the move to digital imaging, and earlier this year received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange after the closing price of its stock was less than US$1 per share for a period of 30 consecutive days. The Wall Street Journal said that there are rumours the company is preparing for a possible Chapter 11 filing in the coming weeks.
Kodak has long been reported to be looking to monetise its patent portfolio, to compensate for weakness elsewhere in its business. A sale of its intellectual property was mooted mid-last year, when the patent gold rush was in full swing, but this has not so far come to fruition.
The company has licensed its patents to more than 30 partners, including mobile device players such as LG, Motorola, Samsung and Nokia. It already has a legal action open against Apple and RIM, alleging infringement of a patent which has now also been asserted against HTC.