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07-27-2012, 03:26 AM #1
Court Denies Apple’s Bid to Transfer Kodak Suit Out of Bankruptcy Court
Apple’s request to transfer its patent dispute with Kodak to a New York district court was recently denied by U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels. The decision claimed a venue change could hinder plans to sell off patents from the bankrupt photography company’s lucrative portfolio.
According to Reuters, Judge Daniels said that before a transfer takes place, bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper must first rule on “key issues.” Judge Daniels ruled that Gropper should have “an opportunity to render a decision on the motion and to have an opportunity to control and move forward the process.”
Kodak accused Apple of interfering with plans to sell its patent portfolio by claiming ownership of 10 inventions related to the two companies’ joint work on the QuickTake digital camera in a suit filed in Manhattan’s U.S. bankruptcy last month. Furthermore, a privately-held Apple spinoff by the name of FlashPoint Technology Inc. was also named as a defendant in the suit and claims ownership rights to the patents through an assignment from Apple. Here Kodak argues that Apple’s claims are designed to hold up an auction expected to take place sometime in August. Judge Gropper has yet to make a decision on the dispute.
The patents in question relate to previewing digital images on a camera’s LCD screen and are seemingly a small part of Kodak’s “digital-capture” portfolio, which is a set of more than 700 properties that generated more than $3 billion in licensing revenue since the year 2001. As of right now, Kodak must sell patents from its vast portfolio to pay off the $950 million loan it was issued to stay operational during corporate restructuring. This is all based off agreed upon bankruptcy protection terms that Kodak must fulfill.