« Apple Getting Serious About Near Field Communication on the iPhone | Main | Apple: Plug a Digital Cam into Your iPod or iPhone »

February 19, 2010


TS states "Kodak lived and breathed R&D for decades and was at the cutting edge fo digital photography, vastly beyond anyone else, for years. "I'm a huge Apple fan, but I hope Kodak wins this one." They deserve to benefit from the work that they did."

Number one, these weren't Kodak patents originally, so no one at kodak lived and breathed anything on these 3 patents. They came from Wang, a company which was a blip in time, a dinosaur who deserved to die in light of the revolutionary Macintosh GUI and Microsoft's Word.

Secondly, these patents have nothing to do with photography. They're about software objects and on that point, it was NeXT Computer who brought this to market via their NeXTSTEP OS, starting in 1986: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXTSTEP

Kodak doesn't have a prayer on this one. They picked on the wrong company, especially because Wang died. Kodak lawyers dug up this nonesense in a desperate attempt to extort money. This has no bearing on Apple due to their ownership of NeXT patents. NeXT and Apple did something with these patents via breakthrough operating systems. What did wang do with these patents - especially for "digital cameras?"

The investigation by the USITC is about stopping Apple's (and blackberry)sale of digital phones. Neither of the three patents in question even pertain to cameras. The word "camera" can't be found in any of the three patents.

This is desperate Kodak seeing their end drawing nigh and like a drowning victim, is flailing around before a final descent.

Apple, with its billions, can buy a majority of Kodak then fire the CEO and its lawyers. Then it can sue Nokia with Kodak's patents.

Apple's NeXT patents go back to 1988.

I'm sorry, but that last comment is nonsense. It means that no one should ever benefit from their work, because someone might have to pay for it. So, you would have all stores standing open with all products available for free. IP has value for a reason. If you use someone else's, you have to pay for it.

Kodak lived and breathed R&D for decades and was at the cutting edge of digital photography, vastly beyond anyone else, for many years. I'm a huge Apple fan, but I hope Kodak wins this one. They deserve to benefit from the work that they did (and do).

Sad, ultimately such actions impact the consumers more than the corporations because the costs will be passed on to them.

Hard to read the patents and see anything especially clever.

These aren't even optics-related patents, but ones involving object-oriented
data structures.

Kodak tried this type of trick once on ye olde Sun Microsystems, purchasing a
patent portfolio to use against Java, which had momentum at the time. Even though
Kodak once had a major investment in Sun, this shakedown was strictly business,
and Sun had to settle for hundreds of millions to avoid further trolling. Kodak
wasn't involved in the least with this type of software.

It is a common signature of dying businesses to lash out at successful ones in
unrelated areas (Kodak doesn't do computers, laptops, or PC software, so Apple
can't just cross-license their own significant patent portfolio). Remember
how Apple used to do laser printers, until Pitney-Bowes sued?

One problem to overcome is the layering of IP within products. If Apple just buys
camera chips, you'd think they would be indemnified by the chip maker to cover
any camera-related patents. But no, patents can apply to any level of
"make, use, or sell" and companies routinely overreach. Further, before a recent
Supreme Court decision, vampire companies could sue for an outsized chunk
of a potential infringer's product selling price even if the IP contribution was
minimal, and the threat of preliminary/permanent injunctions (e.g. the RIMM
debacle) against an entire system ecology was enough to spook large practicing
entities into coughing up blackmail settlements.

These [Eastman Kodak] patents were granted in 1997.

In 1992 Apple was already marketing the Quicktake 100. Wouldn't this be an example of prior art?

The comments to this entry are closed.