Kodak Wins Partial Victory Over Apple in Patent War
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper recently ruled that Apple does not own two of ten disputed Kodak patents that the photography company plans to sell at auction this month. According to Bloomberg, in his ruling Judge Gropper said Apple took too long to assert its ownership claims in a suit that Kodak brought against the Cupertino California company for allegedly trying to disrupt a patent sell off schedule for next week.
Kodak was approved in July to sell over 1,000 patents under the terms of bankruptcy protection agreements but Apple claimed ownership of some of the imaging technology invented when the two companies partnered to create the QuickTake digital camera. The patents at hand came supposedly came from Kodak’s so-called “digital-capture” portfolio. This decision is seen as a partial victory for Kodak as the company would be forced to delay the much-needed patent sale.
According to Judge Gropper “if Apple’s claims proceed despite their unreasonably delayed commencement, Kodak might have to go back to the drawing board for ways to fund its case.” The judge ended up denying Kodak’s motions for summary judgments on the remaining eight claims but left the door open for a follow-up request if the company comes up with a “more complete record.”
One thing that did seem a bit interesting was the fact that Apple reportedly joined forces with Microsoft in bidding for Kodak’s patent portfolio and is expected to go up against a group of huge corporations led by Google, Samsung, LG, and HTC. Apple also recently lost a bid
to move the court proceedings out of bankruptcy court and into a New York district court, a transfer that would have hindered Kodak’s upcoming patent auction.
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of the ordeal as these patents could be significant additions to any tech giant’s portfolio.