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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.
Alright, so we had Bloggermania last month, now the Financial Times (and others via Techmeme) are reporting that Microsoft is going to "attack" Google on copyright issues regarding their book, music and film products. It seems to be a good time for a ground assault since YouTube is facing some stiff times with many major media producers pulling out of negotiations and some demanding YT take down their media.
Years ago, one of my law professors once said something like, "You can beat your competition two ways: you can innovate and create a better product OR you can sue them."
Chip Griffin says, "Ultimately, copyright law ought to enable fair use — such use to be defined as less than X number of words or Y percentage of a work. Existing tests simply leave too much gray area."
Mike at Techdirt goes on to say, "But the arguments are incredibly weak, and can be equally applied to Microsoft. It also ignores increasing evidence (as was predicted) that Google's book scanning project is actually helping to sell more books. So the whole situation reflects incredibly poorly on Microsoft. "
Danny Sullivan has an excellent dissection of the entire Microsoft argument. This is my 2nd entrant into POST OF THE YEAR.