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Kodak sues Apple over patent ownership

Kodak patents are needed in order for the company to survive after filing for bankruptcy

On Monday, Kodak filed in U.S. bankruptcy court a lawsuit against Apple for interfering with sales on a large patent portfolio the two companies worked on in the early 90s.

Kodak initially wanted court approval to auction off patents that included capture, manipulation and sharing digital images after filing for bankruptcy back in January. Kodak is claiming ownership as “a ploy” against Apple from receiving a fair price for the patents.

According to Kodak, Apple falsely claims to own 10 patents the two companies worked on together. FlashPoint Technology, also, asserts part ownership from an assignment they worked with Apple on in 1996.

From the filings, the patents are related to photographic viewing on camera LCD screens.

According to Reuters, the patents are part of Kodak’s digital capture portfolio, “which the company said includes more than 700 patents for devices such as digital cameras, smartphones and tablets and has generated more than $3 billion in revenues since 2001.”

Kodak has made accusations against Apple, stating that it was the “largest infringer of patents in that portfolio” this coming after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper dismissed a request from Kodak that Apple has “no interest in patents.”

“Apple and FlashPoint are seeking to benefit from Kodak’s difficult financial position…which will be exacerbated if the debtors cannot obtain fair value for the patents,” said Kodak.

Apple stated in a June 1 filing that the companies’ disputes involve “an array of complex non-bankruptcy issues” that should be done in a federal court and that Kodak was a “rush to judgment.”

Patents are expected to be auctioned in early August. A winner will be announced August 13.

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