back to article Judge nixes Apple's bid to patent-bash bankrupt Kodak

A US judge has refused to let Apple kick Eastman Kodak while it's down by halting the iPad maker's patent infringement litigation against the bankrupt biz. The fruity firm is freaking out because it's afraid that Kodak will flog its precious patents to sort out its dire finances. Judge Allan Gropper, sitting in a US …

COMMENTS

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  1. g e
    Holmes

    The great fresh smell of

    An opportunity to grab patents you want to use to kick other companies around with.

    I hope Canon buys the lot.

    1. Stuart 22
      Unhappy

      Re: The great fresh smell of rotting flesh

      Except the buyer will have to satisy their bankers/shareholders they are going to get a good return on the $2.6bn. That means extracting every bit of genuine royalty and probably a lot that is too difficult or expensive for the user to defend.

      The latter is bad for ... well just really bad for society and the economy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      just like someone

      Kicking your granny to the floor and robbing her purse, then returning after ten minutes to give her another kicking.

      What class.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I knew the corpse-molesting was low, but I didn't realise that Apple were simply ignoring laws by opening the case in the first place.

  3. jai

    kodak's hope?

    kodak's hope is to sell it's patent and use the 2.6bn (although after a bidding war, i guess Apple will pay them 5bn for them) to restart the business? But what hope have they got, really? If their business was workable, they wouldn't have had to file for bankrupcy.

    They should just flog the patents, pay off their debts, then take the rest to the beach. Where, presumably, they can take lots of photographs in an ironic way.

  4. Paul RND*1000
    Thumb Up

    Good.

    So the judge, in effect, just reminded Apple that the same rules apply to them as everyone else and that they aren't above the law.

    About bloody time someone did.

  5. KirstarK

    I can't help but wonder if apple want to stop kodak selling the patents to Google.

  6. Chris Thomas Alpha
    WTF?

    prior art?

    didnt almost every camera manufacturer who made digital cameras have a viewfinder built into every device from the start?

    therefore how can apple claim to have a patent on it?

    or is another one of those "oh look, we got granted that patent, those idiots!!! now lets sue everybody!" things?

    1. IPatentedItSoIOwnIt
      Trollface

      Re: prior art?

      As Apple generally rehash everyone else's ideas into a nice consumer friendly package I suspect most of their patents follow this rule

      1. Is it me?

        Re: prior art?

        And Microsoft, and Oracle, and.....

        Mind you Apple do make them pretty.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: prior art?

      Prior art has been a question on almost every patent case they've filed.

      Far as I can tell they feel they've run out of creative (apple) juice and are just trying to prolong the iMat's lifetime.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: prior art?

        But this has rounded corners!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Preview pics on an LCD screen has a patent?

    I thought there was a "non-obvious" requirement?

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Preview pics on an LCD screen has a patent?

      Welcome! You must be new on planet Earth.

    2. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Preview pics on an LCD screen has a patent?

      "I thought there was a "non-obvious" requirement?"

      I totally agree. Furthermore, "showing *stuff* on a screen" is undobtedly covered-implied in the original patent for screens. This is another example of the way the patent system is broken, and how it is slowing down our technological advance rate.

    3. C Yates
      Thumb Up

      Re: Preview pics on an LCD screen has a patent?

      "I thought there was a "non-obvious" requirement?"

      Presumably Apple couldn't patent being a bunch of w*nkers then...

    4. Tom 13

      Re: Preview pics on an LCD screen has a patent?

      The need to do so is obvious. The means by which you do it? Perhaps not. There exists the remote possibility they could have found a novel way of doing it that was quicker, easier, cheaper, or more accurate than anything currently being done elsewhere. Unfortunately, given the quality of other patents we know have been issued, I'm doubtful Apple really did anything new.

  8. Bodestone

    I'd like to see someone treat them like the squabling kids they appear to be, take all of the patents off them, put them all in a big tombola and make them take turns in picking them out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Put the patents in a big tombola,

      set it on fire and make them take turns picking them out. If they pick out any software patents, shoot them in the fingers. Or the head.

      (Whichever you think they'd miss most.)

      1. Vic

        Put the patent lawyers in a big tombola,

        > set it on fire

        Walk away satisfied with a job well done.

        Vic.

        1. ratfox Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Put the patent lawyers in a big tombola,

          H6242 — Kill all the lawyers.

  9. Is it me?

    Call me stupid

    But didn't previewing a document or picture on a screen appear in Windows 1 or whatever it was, maybe GEM, pretty sure you could do it on a Xerox Star (Yes I have used one).

  10. nichomach
    WTF?

    Please, please...

    ...tell me that there's more to the patent than "allowing previews of a digital image on an LCD screen".

  11. Cyberian
    Trollface

    US of ?

    United States of Apple?

  12. bpfh Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    So when did Apple patent this? If I haul out my old 17 inch illyama CRT from the cellar, am I no longer in breach of copyright? Technically GUI's and videos are just a fast rendering of static images, so are they all in breach? Can we go back to the Xerox system that inspired Bill & Stevie and just say screw you, prior art now FOAD?

    Atom bomb, well because someone really should set one off at 1 infininte loop, Cupertino...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      FOAD

      You could say that to Jobs but yet again he came up with it first...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      iiyama

      Not sure why so many people seem to have a problem with the name of this quality Japanese monitor manufacturer.

      It begins with an 'i' , then another 'i' . It's pronounced ee-yama.

      They even write it in lower case to avoid confusion. Can't you read?

  13. W.O.Frobozz
    Meh

    What?

    A judge actually said NO to Apple?

  14. Nigel 11
    Mushroom

    Prior art from the 19th century?

    Go right back to the earliest days of photography! A photographer put a ground glass plate into his camera and ducked under the hood to adjust the focus, aperture, framing etc. That's a preview! Then he replaced the ground glass screen with a photographic plate, and waited until it was exposed (which for the earliest photographs, was minutes or even hours, not milliseconds).

    1. Dale 3

      "previews of a digital image on an LCD screen"

      Which part of 19th century photography involved digital images and LCD screens? Just askin'.

      1. Nuke
        FAIL

        @ Dale 3 .. Re: "previews of a digital image on an LCD screen"

        The idea of preview (obvious in the first place IMHO, and I don't think it was ever patented) already existed.

        In a digital world, the idea of continuing to provide a preview is obvious. In fact I should not even call it an "idea", just a routine provision.

  15. yeahyeahno
    Pint

    Whip round for OIN?

    Perhaps we can have a whip round and raise money for OIN to purchase these patents. I know they aren't much to do with Linux, but there's anything in there that can make Apple behave it will be money well spent.

  16. Philippe
    Stop

    Why nobody checked the details of the suit before commenting

    The patent in question is the result of Kodak and Apple co-developing the Quicktake digital camera. The patent was initially registered by Apple

    When Apple dropped the Quicktake, they told Kodak,that it could have the patent and try and improved upon it.

    When things started to go seriously bad for them (early last year), Kodak decided to sue and Apple and Rim using this same patent.

    Late last year Apple countersued saying they owned the patent and therefore shouldn't be used against them.

    The request to sue during Bankruptcy proceeding has been made to avoid the sales of said patent which belongs to Apple in the first place and could make a complicate situation worse.

    The judge decision is in line with the jurisprudence as the usage is not to sue companies during bankruptcy proceedings, however I really can't understand the other posters Apple bashing in this case.

    1. Daniel B.
      Thumb Down

      Re: Why nobody checked the details of the suit before commenting

      "The request to sue during Bankruptcy proceeding has been made to avoid the sales of said patent which belongs to Apple in the first place and could make a complicate situation worse."

      They either own it or not. If this is truly the case, it would be the same as me going to my childhood friend and take back the R/C truck I gave him on his 7th birthday because I don't like him anymore.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why nobody checked the details of the suit before commenting

        "it would be the same as me going to my childhood friend and take back the R/C truck I gave him on his 7th birthday because I don't like him anymore."

        What??!! You don't like me anymore and this is how you choose to tell me. Well you can have your R/C truck back. I wanted a baseball anyway!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why nobody checked the details of the suit before commenting

      >When Apple dropped the Quicktake, they told Kodak,that it could have the patent and try and improved upon it.

      Apple didn't drop the Quicktake, consumers didn't want it. Jobs ditched it and other loss makers as soon as he returned to a near bankrupt Apple - which Kodak could have bought at the time with pocket change.

      In any case, by then Quicktake was a rebranded Fuji camera rather than a rebranded Kodak camera. It was not 'co-developed' in the sense you're implying, unless you count enclosure design and marketing.

  17. OhIthinkNot
    Boffin

    It is non-obvious

    The '218 patent, known as the image preview patent, covers the use of a smaller image file than the actual stored image: so if you are using an 8 megapixel camera, you don't have to display the full 8 megapixel data as the user pans around, you down-sample and show an image that is the same as the one that will be taken, but at a smaller resolution.

    The allows for LCDs that are lower resolution than the sensor, and faster refresh times on the LCD.

    Actually quite clever, really.

    1. Vic

      Re: It is non-obvious

      > Actually quite clever, really.

      You what?

      "Do it in rough first" was the norm when I went to school...

      Vic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is non-obvious

        This on the other hand is "do it in rough second"...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is non-obvious

      You think thumbnails are "non obvious" and were invented within the last 20 years, then?

      Are you a patent clerk?

    3. vic 4
      WTF?

      Re: It is non-obvious

      Some maybe something like a thumbnail? Maybe they should add the ability to embed a thumbnail image inside something like a jpeg, oh sorry, already there for exactly this reason.

  18. Michael Thibault

    Ah, hell!

    Apple, just buy the damn company for the size of its debt, turn it around, and get it over with.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a pity...

    ... that Kodak never thought of patenting a graphical representation on a square or rectangular material, decades ago. Apple would have, if they'd been around.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
      WTF?

      Re: What a pity Kodak never thought of patenting a graphical representation...

      Like negatives, you mean?

      They did, didn't they?

      In fact many a professional photographer would have a cheapo camera along side his top of the range machine set up to give him a first taste.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a pity Kodak never thought of patenting a graphical representation...

        welcome to the boards Trigger.

  20. John Tserkezis

    The RIAA is out, the new kid on the block is Apple.

    Suing the elderly and dead has now become Apple's cup of tea.

    Sure, Kodak isn't people (dead or otherwise), but the sentiment's the same.

  21. D. M
    Mushroom

    Apple is always above the law

    wait, Apple is the law.

    I say fuck them all. Completely disallow patents. The current system is broken without any hope.

  22. Jeebus

    You'd think they'd show a little more class and not try and kick a corpse, heaven knows Apple wouldn't like anyone kicking a recent corpse belonging to Apple.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strong R&D department

    Apples R&D dept is actually called: Restrict and Defend

  24. D. M
    Thumb Up

    R&D

    Apple's R&D department is called "Retribution and Destroy".

  25. Jason Hindle

    I've said it before, I'll say it again......

    The idea that Kodak, the inventor of digital photography, could possibly owe anything to Apple in terms of intelectual property is quite frankly absurd.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to like Apple stuff and the company many moons ago, they seemed to be on the right track between being a bastard corp and great product seller but whiff of "fame" and shed load of cash is enough to turn anyone's head I suppose. I bought an iMac around 2008 and have enjoyed it ever since but I never subscribed to the iPhone frenzy, going Android instead. The iMac is getting very long in the tooth now after ever more of these stories I have very strong feeling that MS and the PC component makers are going to be getting my custom again.

    Sure I know business is business and they're all as bad as each other but there's something about this nasty little action of kicking the struggling Kodak and trying to stop them from selling their IP to save themselves that seems utterly despicable. Of course the iPhone/iPad lick-spittles will never read this story and will carry on thinking everything Cuppertino is wonderful, times have changed and what goes up often comes down with a huge crash. Apple you read the Kodak story well, what goes around comes around.

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