Originally Posted by grking
This is a hardware patent, not a software patent.
One more time. Who here has a patent or ever filed for one. Why should Apple or any other company be able to use another company's IP without compensation? If the roles were reversed here, everyone would act all up in arms about Apple being ripped off.
I am constantly amazed that people think that Kodak, a multi-billion dollar a year company, that was founded in 1888 is some sort of patent troll. I am willing to bet that Kodak has more patents than Apple does. People around here act like Apple is the ONLY company to have ever invented anything and is the only company that has ever filed a valid patent.
If patents were only good for 3 years, innovation would come to a screeching halt because it would not make economic sense to invest the money with virtually no return, unless the liscening fees went WAY up, which would drive up the cost of items.
First I don't have anything against any company that battles with Apple, especially Kodak, a very respectable and innovative company. Secondly, I don't support Apple like a Fan Boy. In fact, I am quite critical of them. Apple too is no Angel, they probably learned to be tougher over the years, as there were taken advantage of and lost plenty of big time decisions. Kodak, I happen to be fond of, its like American Apple Pie too me. I grew up watching their great commercials, supporting their business and using their products daily much of my life. I also don't know the exact issues with their patent case or what it entails, i.e. software or hardware.
What I am stating in general, is that there are way too many of these cases that go to court and eat into the cost of the products. Point in case is that Kodak and Apple and Rim have been trying to iron out the issues for years. Its ridiculous, if it were really important to them (Kodak), they should have brought this to court many years ago and be done with it. Now that the results are in, and since Kodak is not the benefactor, they think, hey others have reaped the benefits and won older cases against some big time players, maybe its time for us to jump in too.
There is obviously something that is or was not clear in the Patent issues, if it were easy for them or their lawyers to discern, these companies would have worked out a deal to pay royalties many years ago. However, they probably know or knew that the US Patent Office is way behind in understanding these issues and have not made clear what the boundaries are, so they (Apple, Rim) just go about making their products, probably with the cost of legal fees built in. They then calculate, if the product takes off, that they will be in court some day, and the decision will be made for them by the courts whether to pay royalties, a fine or whatever.
Don't feel sorry for Kodak which is a great company, one that enjoyed a near market monopoly for most of its existence, until the japanese came in with their film, and later with better digital technology. They had a very hard time keeping pace with the digital image transformation, and probably rightfully so because of their size. Today, Rochester is a dead town compared to its heyday, which relied heavily on Kodak. They are only a fraction of the company they once were. So even old and capable companies can die a slow death or lose ground. Who knows for sure, but perhaps when they were in talks and made these patents, they may have had problems incorporating them into any long term successful products, and may have already seen the writing on the wall. They were playing catchup at that point. I think they were ill prepared to stave off the digital onslaught. Though Kodak has made camera equipment originally for the nonprofessional, it was more of a film, and photo paper producing company than a very good camera maker or digital imaging equipment developer. Though, I personally wish that they were better prepared. They have gotten back some form and made some inroads with sensors, but to a large extent, they are just another player, nothing more. They are still struggling and recently laid off thousands of people. I am not happy about that I must say.