While Eastman Kodak is busy contemplating filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company has taken aim at Apple with a patent infringement suit targeting the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and the (4th generation) iPod touch over camera technology.
Kodak’s complaint asserts that Apple has infringed upon at least four patents on technologies for automatically transmitting digital images from cameras and other devices. The suit also relates to devices selectively sending images over a cellular or Wi-Fi network.
Kodak may ultimately be trying to whip up interest in their digital-imaging patents which the company hopes to sell off in order to avoid bankruptcy, according to one report.
“Kodak has been trying for some time to find a strategic buyer for its digital imaging patents,” siad Florian Mueller, who runs the Foss Patents blog.
"Today's lawsuits are presumably part of the sales and marketing effort for those patents: Kodak seeks to demonstrate that there are still some interesting assets in its portfolio that can be used to sue major wireless device makers."
Kodak’s Chief IP officer, Tim Lynch noted in a statement announcing the suit, “We remain open to negotiating a fair and amicable agreement with these companies, which has always been our preference and our practice with other licensees.”
As Eastman Kodak seeks damages and the ability to prohibit further infringement with their lawsuit, it appears evident that the company is really after a considerable hunk of royalties for its war chest of 1,100 digital imaging patents--essential to cameras, smartphones, and other devices.
A number of HTC's Android-based devices have also been named in Kodak's patent infringement suit.
[Kodak Brownie iPhone art via Stickitskins]