Kodak: Yet another lawsuit from cash-strapped icon


posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 4:19 PM EST

Kodak's logo. Click here to visit the Kodak website!What to do, when your cash reserves are low and you're struggling to turn your company around? For Eastman Kodak Co., the answer seems to be to give up on attempting to negotiate patent licenses with rivals, and instead to turn to the courts. The company has today announced the latest in a series of suits against major names in the imaging and consumer electronics industries.

A week ago, Kodak filed lawsuits against both Apple and HTC, alleging infringement of four patents in the companies' smartphones, as well as in Apple's tablets and audio players. Three days later, Fujifilm was targeted, with Kodak alleging violation of five patents in certain of Fuji's digital cameras.

Today, Samsung joined the list, with Kodak claiming that some of the Korean consumer electronics giant's tablets violated the same four patents at issue in the Apple and HTC cases, as well as one of the patents from the Fujifilm case. As in the earlier cases, today's suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

In the Apple and HTC cases, Kodak also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, attempting to block import of the products it believes to infringe upon its patents. No mention of the ITC is made in Kodak's press releases regarding the Fujifilm and Samsung cases, however.

Press Release

Kodak Alleges Patent Infringement Against Samsung

ROCHESTER, N.Y., January 18 --Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., alleging infringement of certain patents related to Kodak digital imaging technology.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, alleges that certain Samsung tablets infringe patented Kodak digital imaging technology.

Kodak has licensed its digital imaging patents to more than 30 leading technology companies, including LG, Motorola, and Nokia, with all of the licenses royalty-bearing to Kodak.

The complaint against Samsung alleges infringement of the following five patents:

U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 – “Electronic Camera For Initiating Capture of Still Images While Previewing Motion Images”
U.S. Patent No. 7,210,161 – “Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Camera to a Service Provider Using a Network Configuration File” 
U.S. Patent No. 7,742,084 – “Network Configuration File for Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Still Camera”
U.S. Patent No. 7,453,605 – “Capturing Digital Images to be Transferred to an E-Mail Address”
U.S. Patent No. 7,936,391 – “Digital Camera with Communications Interface for Selectively Transmitting Images over a Cellular Phone Network and a Wireless LAN Network to a Destination”