Apple, RIM score a victory against Kodak in high-profile patent suit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In a mixed decision Thursday, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that smart phones from Apple and Research in Motion do not violate digital photography patents owned by Eastman Kodak Co., denying the beleaguered photographic company its bread and butter claim.



The decision reversed parts of an earlier ruling in the high-profile case, sending Kodak's shares into a 20% free-fall late Thursday afternoon. Other parts of the earlier ruling were sent to be reviewed by an administrative law judge. A final decision is expected by Aug 30th.



Kodak, which had previously had the same patents claims upheld in suits against LG and Samsung, was hoping to score another lucrative win to strengthen its patent portfolio that has increasingly become one of its prime sources of income.



The commission did however rule that Apple and RIM were guilty of infringing on a Kodak patent related to "initiating capture of a still image while previewing a motion image," and another under the commission's revised definition of "at least three different colors." The comission also reportedly revised definitions for "motion processor" and "still processor" and asked the administrative judge to make a final decision on whether Kodak's patent was infringed with those changes.



Two of Kodak's three main businesses lost money last year as revenues fell to $7.2 billion, or roughly half the amount it made in 2005. Over the past twelve months, the company's stock has responded by bleeding nearly 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 while it struggles to transition into a digital imaging company. It successfully licenses its digital imaging technology to about 30 companies, including handset makers such as LG, Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson.



Though the six-member ITC commission that ruled Thursday 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.



Chief Executive Antonio Perez had previously stated that he believed Kodak could receive more than $1 billion in such settlement royalty revenue if it could achieve a victory in the latest litigation, which covers methods of preview digital images similar to ones used on the iPhone and BlackBerry.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    ivladivlad Posts: 739member
    When a company can't innovate anymore it just sues everyone and their mother.

    Make a new revolutionary product, Kodak!
  • Reply 2 of 25
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 449member
    Quote:

    AppleInsider



    May 23rd? of which year



    Come on Kodak, you used to be so much better than this. Can you say Kodachrome....
  • Reply 3 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,840member
    I guess they could always pull a Nortel and sell off all their patents... of course, they'd also have to permanently shut the doors.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    When a company can't innovate anymore it just sues everyone and their mother.

    Make a new revolutionary product, Kodak!



    According to another article on the ruling, Kodak did come out the winner on one of the three patent claims, while another was throw back to be argued again.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    According to another article on the ruling, Kodak did come out the winner on one of the three patent claims, while another was throw back to be argued again.



    I think it was all thrown back to the ALJ effectively, as I understand it Kodak is still in a worse position than they were just before the ALJ ruled the first time. I'm still trying to get my head completely around it though.



    The way that Foss-patents explains it, the ITC have decided that the ALJ was incorrect in interpretation of some terms, and has clarified how those terms have to be interpreted, then sent the whole patent back to him/her/them/it? This means that some of the reasons that the patent was found invalid and uninfringed may no longer apply, but ultimately it only takes one reason, so that may not be enough for Kodak.



    If there is any serious chance of Kodak losing this patent then they'll be desparate to settle rather than risk the loss of income from other trolled smartphone makers. Sounds very likely we'll get a settlement of this soon for an underermined sum that Kodak will crow as a victory while Apple & RIM try not to look too happy.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,246member
    These patent cases where resolution is kicked down the road for years remind me of Dickens' Bleak House. His key characters live in the hope and expectation that once the estate is settled that everyone will live happily ever after on the proceeds. After years of litigation, all proceeds are exhausted in legal fees and nobody gets anything--but the lawyers. This novel was said to have resulted in reform of the legal system. Looks like we need another Dickens to step up.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Gerard Meuchner from Kodak here. Your headline suggests a result that differs with our reading of the decision. We see the ITC ruling as favorable and supportive, as our press release indicates: http://tinyurl.com/3vkhnt6



    As we say in the press release, we remain extremely confident this case will ultimately conclude in Kodak?s favor.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,246member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gerard Meuchner View Post


    Gerard Meuchner from Kodak here. Your headline suggests a result that differs with our reading of the decision.



    That's a surprise.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gerard Meuchner View Post


    Gerard Meuchner from Kodak here. Your headline suggests a result that differs with our reading of the decision.



    Well, Wall Street clearly disagrees with your reading of the decision. In after-hours trading, at the moment the market has lopped almost 15% off the value of your company...
  • Reply 10 of 25
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    I hope Kodak has jelly in their pockets because they are toast!
  • Reply 11 of 25
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    The area around Kodak Park looks like a mini Detroit. Kodak does have fewer doors to shut though as they have torn down many of the buildings they closed up.



    In the end I do believe Kodak will be broken up. They still haves few viable businesses so there are things worth selling off. The patent portfolio is interesting but I'd suggest many are rather old.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I guess they could always pull a Nortel and sell off all their patents... of course, they'd also have to permanently shut the doors.



    They need to do something the current management team is the pits.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gerard Meuchner View Post


    Gerard Meuchner from Kodak here. Your headline suggests a result that differs with our reading of the decision. We see the ITC ruling as favorable and supportive, as our press release indicates: http://tinyurl.com/3vkhnt6



    As we say in the press release, we remain extremely confident this case will ultimately conclude in Kodak?s favor.



    Even if part of the suit is upheld things are bad for Kodak. Even if they where to get a half billion from Apple the management team is not capable of doing anything obstructive with it. I don't really have a problem paying for legitimate infringement, the problemin this case is that the money ends up in a deep dark pit of despair called Kodak.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gerard Meuchner View Post


    Gerard Meuchner from Kodak here. Your headline suggests a result that differs with our reading of the decision. We see the ITC ruling as favorable and supportive, as our press release indicates: http://tinyurl.com/3vkhnt6



    As we say in the press release, we remain extremely confident this case will ultimately conclude in Kodak?s favor.



    I don't even know what to make of this. If this guy is trolling then he's the best troll I've EVER seen, and he's totally made my night. If he's for real then my head just exploded.



    Excuse me, I need to go push my brains back into my ears.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    kenckenc Posts: 185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gerard Meuchner View Post


    Gerard Meuchner from Kodak here. Your headline suggests a result that differs with our reading of the decision. We see the ITC ruling as favorable and supportive, as our press release indicates: http://tinyurl.com/3vkhnt6



    As we say in the press release, we remain extremely confident this case will ultimately conclude in Kodak?s favor.



    According to the FOSS interpretation, ALL ELEMENTS of an infringement case have to be proven, not just some of the elements, so, this ruling still leaves the final decision up to the ALJ, but presumably, the chance of victory for Kodak diminishes, based upon the ALJ's prior ruling.



    I wouldn't be so confident.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    robbydekrobbydek Posts: 34member
    It's only a win for Apple and RIM because Kodak didn't get as much of what they wanted.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robbydek View Post


    It's only a win for Apple and RIM because Kodak didn't get as much of what they wanted.



    As of yet Kodak don't have anything, you have to understand that what the won here was a reversal of their previous loss. In sporting terms they've equalized and it's gone to extra time.



    However as it gets closer and closer to the final whistle the fear for Kodak grows, because if this goes against them one of their most valuable patents will become waste paper. They will settle before that happens - and try to paint it as a victory.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    kenckenc Posts: 185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    As of yet Kodak don't have anything, you have to understand that what the won here was a reversal of their previous loss. In sporting terms they've equalized and it's gone to extra time.



    However as it gets closer and closer to the final whistle the fear for Kodak grows, because if this goes against them one of their most valuable patents will become waste paper. They will settle before that happens - and try to paint it as a victory.



    Equalized?!? Not hardly. The latest ruling supercedes the prior one. In this case, you really are only as good as your last ruling, so Apple has the upper hand, because now, Kodak has a much higher hill to climb, as time runs out.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KenC View Post


    Equalized?!? Not hardly. The latest ruling supercedes the prior one. In this case, you really are only as good as your last ruling, so Apple has the upper hand, because now, Kodak has a much higher hill to climb, as time runs out.



    The prior ruling was entirely in Apple's favour, this ruling was only mostly in Apple's favour - Kodak's position is better than it was before this ruling, though it's still very bad.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    I don't even know what to make of this. If this guy is trolling then he's the best troll I've EVER seen, and he's totally made my night. If he's for real then my head just exploded.



    Excuse me, I need to go push my brains back into my ears.



    I suspect that was Meuchner himself. Nice to know he read AI, probably means he has a Mac
  • Reply 20 of 25
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I suspect that was Meuchner himself. Nice to know he read AI, probably means he has a Mac



    He registered just to post that - so I think more likely we hit google and the PR wheels had to be spun.
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