A lot of camera manufacturers haven’t been doing very well in the past few years. This is mainly because people aren’t buying cameras as they used to, ever since digital photography and smartphone cameras broke out. One particular camera-focused company that is more like a household name than a brand is Kodak.
Reports have indicated that Kodak isn’t doing very well financially. To stay afloat, the company is starting to sell off some of their patents. However, if these deals fall through, then the Wall Street Journal predicts that Kodak may be on a one-way journey towards bankruptcy.
However, Kodak is showing a fighting (or is it litigating?) spirit in the midst of all these financial crises. The company has filed a series of patent infringement suits against Apple and HTC. In the suit, Kodak alleges that Apple is encroaching on four of their patents, while HTC is violating five of them.
Kodak’s complaints against Apple are targeted towards the iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPod touch (4th generation) on the following patents:
- U.S. Patent No. 7,210,161 on “automatically transmitting images from an electronic camera to a service provider using a network configuration file”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,742,084 on a “network configuration file for automatically transmitting images from an electronic still camera”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,453,605 on “capturing digital images to be transferred to an e-mail address”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,936,391 on a “digital camera with communications interface for selectively transmitting images over a cellular phone network and a wireless LAN network to a destination”
Against HTC, Kodak is accusing them of violating the same patents plus a fifth one:
- U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 on an “electronic camera for initiating capture of still images while previewing motion images”; this patent is being asserted against Apple and RIM in the aforementioned ITC investigation
It might take a few weeks or even years before we see a resolution to these cases, although Kodak is benefiting from these as their stock price rose nearly 40% when the news of the lawsuits broke out.