Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January of this year and has been trying to sell some patents in order to pay off creditors. Apple wasn’t keen on that, since it claimed to own a fair few of the patents Kodak was shopping around. However, this week a Judge sided with the old photo firm, stating clearly that two of the ten patents were not owned by Apple in any sense.
That clears the way for the next round of court room fights over the other 8, but it’s a partial victory for Kodak and could help it can make up a little bit of cash before its eventual closure.
Despite Apple being a veteran of court room drama, Kodak is no rookie. While licensing out its extensive patent collection, it has also sued rival firms for infringement, including Apple. Despite this though, it hasn’t been anywhere near as successful as the fruity firm, failing to make much from the legal action.
In this current situation however, Kodak is even struggling to pay off its legal fees. The Judge stated at one point during the case that it Apple continues its claims, Kodak may need to “go back to the drawing board for ways to fund its case,” (via Dailytech).
Apple’s claims in this instance are that because the patents in question were jointly developed by Apple and Kodak, that it owns them. However, this joint research was conducted in the early 90s, making the timing of the legal dispute questionable.
While the future of Kodak remains somewhat certain, the outcome of this court case is less so. If Kodak is able to fund its way, it may just emerge with a valuable portfolio to help pay off some creditors, if not, its bankruptcy will be even more catastrophic.
KitGuru Says: While Apple is well known for its aggressive patent legislation at this point – almost as much as its eye catching products – it’s difficult not to think Apple is kicking Kodak when it’s down here. Hopefully some sort of system will be implemented in the future that prevents the constant legal fiasco that the smartphone market has become.