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Kodak Files Patent Infringement Suits Against Apple, Research in Motion

Kodak today announced that it has filed suit against both Apple and Research in Motion for infringement of patents related to digital camera technology.

The Kodak complaint, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), specifically claims that Apple's iPhones and RIM's camera-enabled BlackBerry devices infringe a Kodak patent that covers technology related to a method for previewing images. Separately, Kodak filed two suits today against Apple in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York that claim the infringement of patents related to digital cameras and certain computer processes.

Kodak, which invented the digital camera in 1975, claims that it seeks only what it considers proper compensation for the claimed intellectual property, noting that it has attempted to work with Apple and Research in Motion but has been unable to come to an agreement.

"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. 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.

"Our primary interest is not to disrupt the availability of any product but to obtain fair compensation for the use of our technology," Quatela said. "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."

Apple is also currently embroiled in a patent dispute with Nokia, one that has expanded to include multiple suits and countersuits and has resulted in Nokia seeking the halt of the importation of "virtually all" Apple products into the United States until the situation can be resolved.