Apple sued by Kodak over photo patent

The latest media reports have confirmed that a complaint with the International Trade Commission in the United States has been filed by Kodak, in which it has alleged that the Apple iPhone, and the BlackBerry range of handsets made by Research in Motion, breach Kodak-patented technology in the way that they preview images.

Kodak specified in the complaint that 30 other companies, including leading phone makers LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson were licensed this digital imaging technology, and all of them pay royalties for the use of Kodak’s intellectual property.

Kodak has urged the commission for the issuance of a "limited exclusion order", via which Apple and Research in Motion would be disabled from importing devices that infringed this patent, including the iPhone and the BlackBerry range of mobile email devices.

“Kodak has a long history of digital imaging innovation and we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating our industry-leading patent portfolio. 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,” said Laura G. Quatela, chief intellectual property officer for Eastman Kodak.

She added that considering this, the company has taken legal action against the iPhone maker.

This will also make sure that the interest of the company’s shareholders and present licensees of the technology are well-protected. The company described its foremost interest of obtaining fair compensation for the use of its technology.

Meanwhile, two other lawsuits against Apple were also filed by Kodak with a US District Court, in which the company claimed that Apple had violated on patents relating to digital cameras and computer processes.

In the first suit, Apple has been blamed for infringing two patents covering image previews and the processing of images of different resolutions. Under the second suit, Apple has been accused of tampering with patents that describe the method by which a computer program can "ask for help" from another application to carry out certain computer-based imaging tasks.

Kodak is pretty optimistic for the claims to be upheld.