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ITC judge sides with Kodak in Apple patent suit

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Thursday that Eastman Kodak did not infringe upon digital-camera patents owned by Apple.

Judge Robert Rogers found one of Apple's patents invalid and pronounced that Kodak had infringed on neither of the two patents in Apple's case against the company, Bloomberg reports. Rogers' ruling will be reviewed by the six-member ITC, which can block the importation of products infringing on U.S. patents.

Were pleased by todays ruling and we are looking forward to the full ITC commissions ruling in our case against Apple and RIM, which is expected in late June, Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo said in a statement.

Apple's case against Kodak was filed in April of last year as a countersuit to an earlier suit from the company. The iPhone maker alleged that Kodak had infringed on patents for a "Computer vision system for subject characterization" and "Modular digital image processing via an image processing chain with modifiable parameter controls."

Camera models listed in the complaint included the Z series, M series, C series, Kodak SLICE and several video cameras including the Zx3 PLAYSPORT.

Kodak sued Apple in January 2010, alleging that the company had infringed on a patent related to previewing images. After the ITC agreed to investigate Kodak's complaint, a judge ruled in favor of Apple earlier this year, stating that the claim that Kodak's patent was "an obvious variation of an earlier invention" was valid.

In March, the ITC announced that it would review the decision, which Kodak has said could be worth more than $1 billion in royalties.

Shares of Kodak have fallen sharply since the beginning of the year as investors expressed doubt over the company's revenue sources. As sales of traditional film products have dried up, the company has turned to its patent portfolio in hopes of earning royalties to fund the transition to digital imaging.

Kodak stock closed the day up 1 percent at $2.85, with shares jumping up 7 percent in after hours trading.
post #2 of 15
Apple saying Kodak infringing on their camera patent? Hmm...

Wouldn't that be like Kodak saying Apple infringing on their computer patent?...

Before I get flamed, think about it from this general perspective and don't get too technical on me...

Apple's forte... Computer/OS and software expert with 35 years experience.

Kodak's forte... Camera and film expert with over 120 years experience.

Now was this lawsuit saying a camera company with 120 years experience and Heaven knows how many IP and patents, really necessary?

Okay... Now you may begin flaming!...
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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Apple saying Kodak infringing on their camera patent? Hmm...

Wouldn't that be like Kodak saying Apple infringing on their computer patent?...

Before I get flamed, think about it from this general perspective and don't get too technical on me...

Apple's forte... Computer/OS and software expert with 35 years experience.

Kodak's forte... Camera and film expert with over 120 years experience.

Now was this lawsuit saying a camera company with 120 years experience and Heaven knows how many IP and patents, really necessary?

Okay... Now you may begin flaming!...
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Apple has been producing Digital Camera technology as long as Kodak. Kodak went from film to digital long after Apple had produced a Digital Camera and iSight type of product.

Apple QuickTake is from 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_QuickTake
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Kodak stock closed the day up 1 percent at $2.85, with shares jumping up 7 percent in after hours trading.

Is AI just noting the stock change or implying there is a direct relation between this outcome and the stock?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Apple saying Kodak infringing on their camera patent? Hmm…

Being first or having more experience in a field don’t mean another can’t come up with a unique and novel idea, especially when you consider how much has changed in the past 120 years and how much has moved to digital and electronic where Apple does play. I certainly hope the judge didn’t consider the patent’s validity by looking at the age and primary markets of these companies.
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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Apple saying Kodak infringing on their camera patent? Hmm...

Wouldn't that be like Kodak saying Apple infringing on their computer patent?...

Before I get flamed, think about it from this general perspective and don't get too technical on me...

Apple's forte... Computer/OS and software expert with 35 years experience.

Kodak's forte... Camera and film expert with over 120 years experience.

Now was this lawsuit saying a camera company with 120 years experience and Heaven knows how many IP and patents, really necessary?

Okay... Now you may begin flaming!...
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That's all irrelevant.

Aside from mdriftmeyer's correct statement that Apple has been producing digital cameras about as long as Kodak, it doesn't matter how long they've been doing something. A newcomer to a field can easily come up with a patent that the old-timers never dreamed of. In fact, it's not uncommon - newcomers bring a different perspective.

Your example would be like saying that Toyota could never come up with anything new because Mercedes has been making cars longer. Obviously, that's absurd.

As for the necessity, of course it was necessary for Apple. Kodak sued them for patent infringement and Apple has every right to defend itself in any way it can. Apparently, ITC didn't buy this one, but that doesn't mean that it won't work in court. Nor does it mean that it shouldn't have been tried - Apple apparently thought they had a chance of winning that argument.
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post #6 of 15
Kodak built and patented the first digital camera in 1975.

Apple just needs to buy us and get access to our IP and be done with it! Then I can say I reached my life goal of working for Apple!
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tapin2 View Post

Kodak built and patented the first digital camera in 1975.

Apple just needs to buy us and get access to our IP and be done with it! Then I can say I reached my life goal of working for Apple!

Apple would buy the IP and sell off the rest, including your job. That would be the only wise course of action.

There is a reason Apple buys small startups. The IP is current and relevant, and the talent is on the cutting edge. Two areas that Kodak cannot claim.
post #8 of 15
Anyone else get the impression that the ITC is planning to take the stance that no one is infringing on anyone in the mobile space?
post #9 of 15
I am a big Apple guy, and it is possible Kodak is violating Apple patents. However, Kodak had a similar camera on the market for a year prior to Apple. Further, Kodak built the Quick Take for Apple.

With all that said, Apple is merely using its patents to defend itself against Kodak's lawsuit. Kodak's most famous innovations weren't in digital film. Other companies such as Fuji and Samsung also had early model digital cameras.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Apple has been producing Digital Camera technology as long as Kodak. Kodak went from film to digital long after Apple had produced a Digital Camera and iSight type of product.

Apple QuickTake is from 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_QuickTake
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Apple would buy the IP and sell off the rest, including your job. That would be the only wise course of action.

There is a reason Apple buys small startups. The IP is current relevant and the talent is on the cutting edge. Two areas that Kodak cannot claim.

Not necessarily. Apple also retained talent brought in via acquisitions where needed.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


Apple's forte... Computer/OS and software expert with 35 years experience.

Kodak's forte... Camera and film expert with over 120 years experience.

These details are moot. The only detail that matters is if someone copied patented material from another company.

Just because Apple doesn't have the years that Kodak has doesn't mean that they couldn't have thought up something for digital photography first and Kodak copied it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

However, Kodak had a similar camera on the market for a year prior to Apple. Further, Kodak built the Quick Take for Apple.

Date to market doesn't matter. Kodak could have whipped up something in half the time that Apple took to beat them to the shelves and is still in violation.

ANd previous partnerships are moot unless you can find a smoking gun that says that Apple grants Kodak (or Kodak grants Apple) the rights to the patent in question etc

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Not necessarily. Apple also retained talent brought in via acquisitions where needed.

You clearly didn't read what I wrote. The reason Apple buys startups is for the IP and engineering talent that are relevant to acquiring their IP.

Kodak has neither.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Anyone else get the impression that the ITC is planning to take the stance that no one is infringing on anyone in the mobile space?

Sure looks like it to me too.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You clearly didn't read what I wrote. The reason Apple buys startups is for the IP and engineering talent that are relevant to acquiring their IP.

Kodak has neither.

Kodak has tons of digital imaging and optics IP and even now retains some decent engineering talent. The company leadership was very ineffective at exploiting it, but the researchers were highly productive none the less.
Think of Kodak as a Xerox PARC of analog and digital imaging.
post #15 of 15
And here's the latest ruling from today.

"The U.S. International Trade Commission today delivered a ruling on the on-going lawsuit between Eastman Kodak and RIM and Apple. Kodak sued Apple and RIM in early 2010, alleging that Apple and RIM's smartphones violated Kodak's camera patents. In late 2010, a judge initially sided with Apple and RIM, saying that the firms hadn't infringed on the patents. Kodak appealed, and the ITC decided the case was worth reviewing. Today's decision covered three separate claims. The ITC decided that Apple and RIM did not infringe on the main patent claim being made by Kodak. However, the ITC decided to restructure the other two claims, siding with Kodak on one, and not coming to a determination on the third. It is sending the entire case back to lower courts so that the points may be argued by Kodak, Apple, and RIM again."

Courtesy of PhoneScoop
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