Apple Seeks Bankruptcy Court's Blessing to Sue Kodak over Patents
With Kodak having filed last-minute patent lawsuits against Apple and HTC as it was heading into bankruptcy last month, Bloomberg reports that Apple is looking to assert itself against the pioneering photography company with a new lawsuit alleging infringement of Apple-held patents.
While Apple says in its filing with the bankruptcy court overseeing Kodak's case that it is not required to seek approval for a lawsuit, Apple notes that it is requesting the court's blessing "out of an abundance of caution".
Apple Inc. asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue Eastman Kodak Co. over allegations it’s infringing patents that Apple says cover technologies used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames. [...]
While arguing bankruptcy law doesn’t prevent the filing of infringement suits against a company in court protection, “Apple requests express authority from this court before it initiates the actions out of an abundance of caution,” the company’s lawyers wrote in the filing.
In a separate case, Apple has been contending that it is the rightful owner of a patent currently held by Kodak. Apple claims that through its partnership with Kodak to produce QuickTake digital cameras during the mid-1990s, Kodak misappropriated intellectual property involved in the project and patented it for itself.
Apple QuickTake 100, manufactured by Kodak (Source: Time)
Apple last month filed a petition with Kodak's bankruptcy court requesting that Kodak not be permitted to use the disputed patent to secure loans supporting the company's restructuring until ownership of the patent is resolved. The U.S. International Trade Commission has preliminarily rejected Apple's ownership claims, but the case and a parallel federal lawsuit remain pending.