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NY-based Kodak has announced they have filed lawsuits today against Apple and Research in Motion alleging, “the infringement of Kodak digital imaging technology.”
From the lawsuit announcement Laura G. Quatela, Chief Intellectual Property Officer, and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company noted, “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.”
Also noted in the press release, Kodak has royalty-paying agreements with over 30 companies including: LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.
Regarding Apple, Kodak noted, “In the first suit against Apple in U.S. 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 alleges 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. The allegations in the second suit apply to any Apple product that uses the processing method described above.”
Eric Savitz at Barrons has some additional thoughts on the lawsuits.
Update: Justin Whitaker had some good comments regarding the above lawsuit announcement. He notes, “So it this Kodak’s new business plan?” and “Seems to me that “patent troll” is not in line with the proud Kodak legacy.
Many years ago I stopped by the Times Square visitor’s center in Manhattan. They offered a program which offered to take a photo of you (or your group) and put it up on the huge screen at the north end of Times Square. It was totally cool and a great way for tourists to say they were on top of Times Square.
Kodak is now offering something similar but with a much better screen. It’s also a lot more advanced than the previous attempts at photo on a big picture wall. Kodak is promoting the screen as part of the New Year’s eve festivities in Times Square tomorrow evening. Seems like a fun way to ring in “two-thousand ten” (sorry MG not twenty-ten).
With this new service, you email your photo to Kodak and within 24 hours you will receive a notification if your image was approved. Kodak notes that the images must be “appropriate”. In the notification email, Kodak will include a text code.
When you get to Times Square, you send a text message to the address provided and your picture, with caption, will show for 10 seconds. Assuming Kodak can get the word out about the program today (since it takes 24 hours for approval), I can imagine how many people will want their image to be displayed on the screen at exactly 12:00am on January 1st. I guess anytime during New Year’s eve would work as well.
It looks like the service will be available past New Year’s so if you are planning a trip to New York, you could send in your photos now and just use the text code once you arrive. Maybe you could use the screen to propose to your significant other?
As a side note, the Times Square visitor’s center is still a great place to go if you are coming to NYC for the first time. They have loads of maps, discounts, free Internet access and clean toilets.
Lastly, walking around Times Square today I noticed Yahoo is still advertising above the police substation. I wonder how long that ad will be there…especially since it’s never changed in all the years it has been there.
Couple stories out of NY’s sister city: London this morning. One from AOL and one from Kodak.
AOL has launched a new mobile site for the U.K. which includes "a ‘real’ internet user experience". Not sure exactly what that means since I can’t access the site, but they claim, "the offering promises a web experience closer to that of a desktop PC than any other current mobile portal."
The new site includes information in the following categories:
- Web surfing – they translate the pages your surf into mobile pages on the fly
- Search – using AOL Search
- More content – using AOL content from the AOL portal
I can imagine it’s only a matter of time before the site is available in the U.S. Any of our friends in the U.K. – if you give the site a try, please report back on your thoughts. The site is available at wap.aol.com/uk
Now this story is a bit of fun. Kodak has launched a new game in the U.K. which lets players win discounts and prizes from Kodak including paper and cameras.
In the information that Kodak sent over, they included the following, "The game, entitled Trolley Dash, takes the form of a supermarket sweep in which players have to grab as much booty as they can within a given time limit, and can be found at: http://shop.kodak.co.uk/TrolleyDash."
The music and graphics are pretty good – and as we know, casual games are hot. While this is more of a marketing stunt than a casual game, it will still appeal to some players who want to grab all the booty they can.