Kodak sues Apple and HTC for patent infringement

Lawsuits latest in a series of financial and legal entanglements for camera company

Let’s be real: Kodak is flailing. Not long after the company underwent a major change in leadership, rumors started floating around that it was preparing to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And now, just a few days later, they’ve sued Apple and HTC, accusing the two companies of patent infringement on digital imaging techniques. This is a bold move for a company purportedly on the brink of bankruptcy (though it has yet to acknowledge it), especially considering that Apple’s market value is more than 2,400 times greater than Kodak’s.

The two lawsuits accuse the smartphone makers of using Kodak’s image transmission technology without permission. Kodak claims it obtained the contested patents after it realized that people would like to be able to share their photos directly with their friends, rather than first putting them on a computer. Apple and HTC are allegedly infringing these patents by selling and importing mobile devices with cameras, such as the iPad and iPhone, among others.

It’s interesting to note that these lawsuits come on the heels of reports that said Kodak was seeking to sell its patent portfolio to avoid bankruptcy. Nonetheless, the suits seek compensatory and treble damages as well as to stop Apple and HTC from selling their products.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

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