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back to article ITC was wrong: Apple, RIM owe us $1bn for that patent – Kodak

Bankrupt camera firm Kodak is going to appeal a US regulator's decision that neither Apple nor RIM had infringed on one of its patents. Kodak is trying to recover what it claims are lost revenues from illegal use of patent '218, a patent used in previewing digital pictures, which the firm says amounts to around $1bn (£643m). …

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Trollface

"Kodak filed for bankruptcy back in January and sees its patent portfolio as the main way to dig itself out of the red so it can re-build as a printer company, leaving photography behind."

And the rest of the world sees its patent portfolio as a large horde of overly-broad descriptions of obvious things that Kodak can use, through the income from lawsuits, to make up for its recent woeful lack of competitiveness and genuine innovation.

Troll icon because it is sad when companies have to turn into them to survive.

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Not all patents are bad

While I hate software patents with a passion reserved only for lawyers and politicians (Although there is more than a passing association with the three!) I have no doubt that many of the patents Kodak own are the result of hard work and genuine innovation. When that is the case, I see no issue with them asserting the rights they have been granted.

If on the other hand they are exploiting a badly worded description of the end result of a process, rather than the process itself, then yes, they're as bad as all the others.

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Anonymous Coward

Finance 101

So, if "Kodak filed for bankruptcy back in January" and is trying to sell its patents - how can it afford to pay for expensive lawyers to appeal this decision ? Where is the money coming from ? Creditors, who haven't been paid, must be upset that Lawyers are being paid (unless they are willing to take this on at risk ?)

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FAIL

Re: Finance 101

From first hand experience...there is ALWAYS money to pay the Lawyers (because if there wasn't, it would have already folded).

The company i worked for went under some 10 years ago and I was a Creditor as they had not paid my expenses. The entire business was sold off within the year, but for about 8 years I regularly got a report telling me that they were still sorting out how much was owed and could therefore not tell me how much I was going to get as an unsecured creditor, but they had paid themselves out of what was left for that year. The letters stopped coming so I assume the money had run out.

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Boffin

Love the lawyers

"The validity of the '218 patent has been upheld in previous litigation at the ITC and was affirmed by the US Patent and Trade Office in the face of two separate challenges,"

That would be Samsung and LG, both of who settled before the ITC made a final ruling, the US PTO simply agreed that Kodak had been granted the patent. A patent so obvious that a blind man could see how ridiculous it was. I would explain it but life is just to fucking short and I don't want anyone to cut their wrist in frustration wondering how Kodak got granted the patent.

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What exactly is 218 patent?

From the article, I can only imagine it to be some sort of thumbnail.

I'm sure that it can't be that though, because that would be a patent of the bleedin' obvious.

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Re: What exactly is 218 patent?

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6292218.PN.&OS=PN/6292218&RS=PN/6292218

From the abstract and overly complicated description I surmise that they have patented the act of providing a low-res moving preview and a high-res still image capture from a single sensor.

How this was ever passed I will never understand - surely any engineer (software or hardware) would have to think for no more than a minute to figure out that if your image capture sensor has a higher resolution than your preview LCD, then you will be moving fewer bits per second if you reduce the resolution of your sensor in software (by averaging/sampling/etc).

Kodak deserve to disappear into oblivion, which is really a dreadful shame as they were once truly great.

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Bingo

That's it more or less.

There should be an icon to give someone a beer.

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Pint

Re: Bingo

There is such an icon

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Holmes

Re: What exactly is 218 patent?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. This patent originated in 1994. Read the background section. We tend to forget how quickly techniology has evolved in recent decades, and to undervalue the vision and ingenuity that made this possible.

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Coat

rebuild as a printer company ?

Bye then Kodak..

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Gold badge

Worse than el reg reports...

So, it's not just that the ITC decided Apple & RIM didn't violate Kodak's patent. The ITC found the patent itself is invalid. (I bet those other chumps that paid Kodak to license their invalid patent are kicking themselves now.)

The bad part about this is, for Kodak appealing it's a no-risk operation really. If they win on appeal, they get money from Apple and RIM. If Kodak loses, they've already filed for bankruptcy, so when Apple and RIM rightly go to Kodak to have their legal fees paid, Kodak might not have to pay them dick.

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why this case is special

The world is full of patent trolls but whats different is Kodak is trying to short circuit what few sanity checks the legal system has on patents through bankruptcy court. I hope the lawyers eat up so much they never come out of Chapter 11.

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I worked for Polaroid in the 1980s...

And it is TOTALLY IRONIC that Kodak attempts to reach FROM THE DEAD to recoup IP violations.

Kodak totally pillaged Polaroid IP on instant cameras in the 1970s. In 1985, Polaroid won the suit, but the damage had already been done. Polaroid was ruined as an imaging-research company by Kodak greed.

Bye bye Kodak!

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