January 20, 2012 3:58pm
Two years ago Eastman Kodak launched a lawsuit against RIM and Apple accusing the companies of infringing on certain camera-related patents. Now, with Kodak filing for bankruptcy they’ve asked the United States Court of International Trade to push back to proceedings until September 21st, 2012.
In the meantime, it is uncertain whether Kodak will have the financial will, nor the incentive, to pursue the case, RIM has issued this response:
RIM is ready and willing to proceed to trial today but Kodak asked the court to delay the trial until August. Moreover, RIM is willing to pay for its use of valid patents–RIM pays hundreds of millions of dollars annually for patent licenses. But RIM believes that Kodak’s main patent in this dispute, the ‘218, is neither valid nor infringed and RIM’s position was supported by one of the nation’s most respected patent judges, the International Trade Commission’s Chief Judge Luckern.
It certainly doesn’t seem like RIM is worried — they certainly have bigger fish to fry — but if they did indeed infringe on the patent in question, it will be interesting to see how fiercely Kodak pursues this once the trial does commence.
Kodak, back in 2010, had this to say: “Kodak has a long history of digital imaging innovation and we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating our industry-leading patent portfolio… In the case of Apple and RIM, we’ve had discussions for years with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue amicably, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement. There’s a basic issue of fairness that needs to be addressed. Those devices use Kodak technology, and we are merely seeking compensation for the use of our technology in their products. Our primary interest is not to disrupt the availability of any product but to obtain fair compensation for the use of our technology.”
The infringed patent involves processing photos at different resolutions, which both Apple and RIM maintain they have figured out ways to accomplish without using Kodak’s IP.