Kodak targets Apple and RIM in controversial patent lawsuit

Kodak has sued Apple and RIM over the unauthorized use of patented digital imaging technology in iPhones and camera-enabled BlackBerry devices.

The Kodak complaint – which was recently filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) – alleges that the above-mentioned devices infringe on a patented method of previewing images. 

“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,” explained Kodak VP Laura G. Quatela.

“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.”

Unsurprisingly, Quatela claimed that Kodak had little interest in “disrupting” the availability of any product and simply wished to obtain “fair compensation” for the use of its technology.

“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,” added Quatela.

However, Quatela acknowledged Kodak was seeking a “limited exclusion order” preventing the importation of infringing devices, including certain mobile telephones and wireless communication devices featuring digital cameras.

Finally, Quatela noted that Kodak had filed two additional suits against Apple in a US District Court (NY) over the alleged infringement of patents related to digital cameras and specific computer processes.

In the first suit against Apple in the US District Court, Kodak alleges infringement of two patents generally covering image preview and the processing of images of different resolutions. 

In the second suit, Kodak claims infringement of patents that describe a method by which a computer program can “ask for help” from another application to carry out certain computer-oriented functions.