Apple loses bid to transfer Kodak suit out of bankruptcy court, patent sell-off to proceed

in General Discussion edited January 2014
A judge on Thursday denied Apple's request to transfer its patent dispute with Kodak to a New York district court, a venue change that could have hindered plans to sell off patents from the bankrupt photography company's lucrative portfolio.

U.S District Court Judge George Daniels denied a request to have Eastman Kodak Co v. Apple Inc et al. moved to his court and said that before such a transfer takes place bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper must first rule on "key issues," reports Reuters.

Gropper should have "an opportunity to render a decision on the motion and to have an opportunity to control and move forward the process," Daniels ruled during the day-long hearing.

In a suit filed in Manhattan's U.S. bankruptcy last month, 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. FlashPoint Technology Inc, a privately-held Apple spin-off, was also named as a defendant in the suit and claims ownership rights to the patents through an assignment from the Cupertino tech giant.


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 in the dispute.

The patents in question relate to previewing digital images on a camera's LCD screen and are a small part of Kodak's "digital-capture" portfolio, a set of more than 700 properties that generated more than $3 billion in licensing revenue since 2001.

Under agreed upon bankruptcy protection terms, Kodak must sell patents from its vast portfolio to pay off the $950 million loan it was issued to stay operational during corporate restructiong.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    So he didn't deny it so much as say that the bankruptcy judge has to deal with things first. Sounds reasonable to me

    And yeah Kodak they want to halt the sale. If they are right then you shouldn't be allowed to sell them and shaft the buyer who will then be sued to give up the patents to the rightful owners.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    fairthropefairthrope Posts: 249member

    Is there anything good in Kodak's auction catalogue? If not, let Apple sits this one out.

  • Reply 3 of 5
    Some of these patents looked promising until the last few weeks. LG and Samsung collectively settled for over $900 million previously with Kodak but just recently Apple and RIM were found to not be infringing by the ITC on the patents that the others settled on.

    There are many different patents involved, some with disputed infringement and some with disputed ownership. Some of these patents just lost about $1 billion in value. Who wants to take on that risk?

    I guess some NPE will but them on the cheap, then gamble of future lawsuits?
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Who would want to buy a patent with disputed ownership? It's like buying a car that has no title. Seriously...
  • Reply 5 of 5
    sipsip Posts: 210member

    The Apple QuickTake is one of the first consumer digital camera lines. It was launched in 1994 by Apple Computer



    Apple may reasonably have a claim against Kodak for both Apple technology and joint research. Apple should just buy Kodak outright and acquire all Kodak's patents (without prejudice to avoid anyone trying to claw back licence fees paid to Kodak in the past).
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