Kodak Launches Patent Infringement Suits Against Apple and RIM

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Another day, another patent infringement lawsuit: Eastman Kodak Company has filed lawsuits against both Apple and Canada’s Research in Motion, alleging that cameras in iPhones and BlackBerry devices violate a Kodak patent related to previewing images. Kodak is seeking to have federal regulators black import devices that infringe on the patents, but Kodak says it doesn’t want to disrupt sales of the devices, just be compensated for use of its technology.

“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,” said Kodak VP and chief intellectual property officer Laura G. Quatela, in a statement. “In light of that, we are taking this action to ensure that we protect the interests of our shareholders and the existing licensees of our technology.”

The new suits spring from Kodak’s recent patent settlement with Samsung, which stemmed from an ITC administrative law judge finding that a Kodak’s patent regarding color image preview was both valid and enforcible. The patent was also at the center of litigation between Kodak and Sun Microsystems back in 2004; in that case a federal jury found that Java had infringed on the patents.

“We remain open to negotiating a fair and amicable agreement with both Apple and RIM,” Quatela said.

Neither Apple nor RIM have yet responded publicly to the suits.

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