Kodak says patent dispute with Apple worth more than $1B in royalties

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The CEO of Eastman Kodak told reporters Thursday that his company could receive more than $1 billion in royalty revenue if it can achieve a victory against Apple and Research in Motion in a patent dispute over digital camera technology used in the two companies' mobile devices.



Antonio Perez made the comments in an interview in New York on Thursday, adding that his company "deserves to win," as noted by Bloomberg. The International Trade Commission is scheduled to announce Friday whether it will review an ITC judge's earlier ruling that Apple and RIM are not in violation of the company's image-preview patents.



Update: The ITC revealed Friday that it will review the judge's decision, reopening the patent case between Apple and Kodak.



?This is a lot of money, big money,? Perez said of a potential settlement. Kodak has received close to $1 billion from Korean electronics giants Samsung and LG in a settlement related to the same patent that Apple and RIM are accused of violating. According to the report, a different ITC judge sided with Kodak in the Samsung and LG cases, leading the phonemakers to settle before the full six-member commission could rule on the case.



Though the ITC Is unable to order monetary damages, it has the authority to block imports of products that are found to infringe upon U.S. patents. As such, the threat of an import ban often motivates companies to settle.



Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak sued Apple in January of last year, alleging that the iPhone had infringed on patents relating to low resolution image previews. Several months later, Apple fired back with a countersuit over several digital imaging patents allegedly being violated by Kodak cameras.



In January of this year, an ITC judge ruled in favor of Apple and RIM, who had argued that the patent was invalid because it was an "obvious variation of an earlier invention."



Kodak's position in the case may have devolved into desperation. Two of the company's three main businesses lost money last year as revenues fell to $7.2 billion, compared to nearly half that amount in 2005. In the past year, Kodak has lost almost half of its market value.



Faced with the decline of the camera film market, Kodak has turned to its extensive patent portfolio as a source of income. Kodak licenses its digital imaging technology to about 30 companies, including handset makers such as LG, Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson.
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Comments

  • originalmacratoriginalmacrat Posts: 297member
    Last gasps of a dying company.
  • lanphantomlanphantom Posts: 34member
    Kodak, take a picture of yourself, it might last longer than your companies business model will.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,871member
    Do the shareholders really want this company to be remembered as the Pictures company akin to Darl's McBride and the SCO Group?



    Fire this guy and get talent to restructure your future with your current IP. Invest heavily into R&D and streamline your focus on how your research can bring new IP to the market.



    Otherwise, sell it off.
  • malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    What could this sentence mean?



    "Two of the company's three main businesses lost money last year as revenues fell to $7.2 billion, compared to nearly half that amount in 2005."



    So they doubled their revenue since 2005? That can't be right, but that's how I read it.
  • buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Don't be so hard on Kodak. I don't know the specifics of their claims, but they've certainly innovated in the photographic department. It's not like they're some obscure company suing Apple for double-clicks or something. Suppose someone else comes and rips off key elements of the iPhone/iPad. Will people then suggest Apple needs to "streamline focus" and "restructure their future"? I bet everyone here will say how Apple needs to protect their IP...
  • malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    This article caused me to look up the status of good old Eastman Kodak.



    Earlier this month it's bond rating was lowered to CAA1 from B3 (that's bad).



    It's earnings per share are -$2.56. Shares are selling for $3.13. Lost nearly $700M.



    And yet, their CEO is pulling down $7.4M and they just donated $100,000 to the Japanese Red Cross.



    Founded 131 years ago. I doubt it will make it to 135. Probably someone will buy up the name and it'll live on as some minor brand (like Polaroid).



    Sad end of a great American company.
  • leatherneck71leatherneck71 Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buck View Post


    Don't be so hard on Kodak. I don't know the specifics of their claims, but they've certainly innovated in the photographic department. It's not like they're some obscure company suing Apple for double-clicks or something. Suppose someone else comes and rips off key elements of the iPhone/iPad. Will people then suggest Apple needs to "streamline focus" and "restructure their future"? I bet everyone here will say how Apple needs to protect their IP...



    Not too long ago, another not so obscure company was accused of the exact same thing... Microsoft. Now that SJ and company are under scrutiny the knee jerk reaction is to attack Kodak not to address the real issue: stolen intellectual property. (Shield up! Here come the attacks!)
  • ranreloadedranreloaded Posts: 397member
    Someone's desperately trying to fight imminent irrelevance...
  • kilimanjarokilimanjaro Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LanPhantom View Post


    Kodak, take a picture of yourself, it might last longer than your companies business model will.



    Harharhar.. That's a good one..



    But alas, the result will be only a low resolution image previews..
  • krabbelenkrabbelen Posts: 243member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leatherneck71 View Post


    Not too long ago, another not so obscure company was accused of the exact same thing... Microsoft. Now that SJ and company are under scrutiny the knee jerk reaction is to attack Kodak not to address the real issue: stolen intellectual property. (Shield up! Here come the attacks!)



    Not an attack, just a reply:

    Your comment could be interpreted as an attack on Apple and Apple supporters...



    The point being, your comment does not weigh up past history, known practices and character. On the surface, sure, it all looks equal: MS gets sued, Apple gets sued.



    What's the difference, right? Why should Apple supporters want MS to get nailed by someone like Kodak, but overlook scrutiny of Apple. What hypocrites, right? Because, of course, there is always merit to the suits and Apple must automatically be just as guilty as MS surely is, right? Let's be evenhanded and politically correct here, yes?



    Well, MS is basically known for pulling crap and unethical business practices. It's a fact. They aren't sued from here to Timbuctoo for nothing. Apple actually has a record of, well, inventing stuff, and being, you know, innovative.



    So, the short answer is: it is actually quite believable that Apple actually did come up with an alternate way of doing something without infringing on someone else's patent. Is that our first thought with MS? Heck, no.



    So, you see, the mere comparison, "MS gets sued, Apple gets sued" actually contains some back history with qualitative differences. Actually. It is never a case of "the exact same thing". For you to paint it as such is completely disingenuous. The only "knee-jerk" reaction here is yours: to assume Apple has the same character and inabilities and DNA as MS. As soon as a story about a suit against Apple comes up, whoops, here go the knee-jerk reactions about how Apple is the new MicroSoft and how Apple supporters are blind hypocrites and you are such a dispassionate and objective observer who has to fend off attacks by rabid and deluded fanboys. But you didn't mean to attack us, right!
  • palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,133member
    Who in the world are granting these patents? Previewing an image at a lower resolution?

    It's as silly as patenting looking with one eye instead of two.
  • eriamjheriamjh Posts: 923member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    Who in the world are granting these patents? Previewing an image at a lower resolution?



    Doesn't every digital camera with a display do this?
  • majortom1981majortom1981 Posts: 305member
    I have nothing against apple but Kodak did have a digital camera a year before apple came out with theirs in 1993.



    I can see how Kodak has patents that apple is violating BUT how come kodak didnt sue apple long before now? Wouldnt this lawsuit get dropped because apple didnt protect its patent earlier?
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,991member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    This article caused me to look up the status of good old Eastman Kodak.



    Earlier this month it's bond rating was lowered to CAA1 from B3 (that's bad).



    It's earnings per share are -$2.56. Shares are selling for $3.13. Lost nearly $700M.



    And yet, their CEO is pulling down $7.4M and they just donated $100,000 to the Japanese Red Cross.



    Founded 131 years ago. I doubt it will make it to 135. Probably someone will buy up the name and it'll live on as some minor brand (like Polaroid).



    Sad end of a great American company.



    Very well-put.
  • boriscletoboriscleto Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post


    I have nothing against apple but Kodak did have a digital camera a year before apple came out with theirs in 1993.



    I can see how Kodak has patents that apple is violating BUT how come kodak didnt sue apple long before now? Wouldnt this lawsuit get dropped because apple didnt protect its patent earlier?



    Two years actually.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak_DCS



    This is just the last gasp of a dying company. Someone will buy up the sensor unit, maybe the film unit, and the rest will die.
  • kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    Probably someone will buy up the name and it'll live on as some minor brand (like Polaroid).



    Not only a minor brand, but one that has little to do with photography. Sad how these two American giants once defined the photography industry for the entire world but later became barely relevant. George Eastman and Edwin Land must be rolling over in their graves.
  • old-wizold-wiz Posts: 188member
    Typical of a company that can't do business selling anything anymore; sue someone else. In their time Kodak was a great company, now they are a shell, only making money as a patent troll.
  • aiaddictaiaddict Posts: 487member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post


    I have nothing against apple but Kodak did have a digital camera a year before apple came out with theirs in 1993.



    I can see how Kodak has patents that apple is violating BUT how come kodak didnt sue apple long before now? Wouldnt this lawsuit get dropped because apple didnt protect its patent earlier?



    You are off by more than a decade. Kodak did a lot of work in digital imaging, from capture to manipulation to display and printing long before Apple entered the game.
  • al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post


    You are off by more than a decade. Kodak did a lot of work in digital imaging, from capture to manipulation to display and printing long before Apple entered the game.





    patents have a life of only 18 years. anything done in the 1980's is public domain by now
  • al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Doesn't every digital camera with a display do this?



    because they license the patents kodak developed in the 1990's
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