The ‘gun’ has not cooled yet for Apple, as the company is being sued in its turn now, after having recently sued Amazon for using Apple’s ‘app store’ mark. The brother in arms is RIM, both being accused by Kodak for $1 billion in royalty payments over patents. Just as we mentioned a few days ago, legal battles over patents are becoming a trend in the IT industry, the most recent episode starring Microsoft, which is suing Barnes & Noble’s NOOK and NOOK manufacturers for violating its patents. This covers a broad range of device functions, including “interacting with documents and e-books” and “natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens.” Google sees patent lawsuits as threatening innovation in the IT business.
“Sweeping software patent claims like Microsoft’s threaten innovation,” Google said in a statement. “While we are not a party to this lawsuit, we stand behind the Android platform and the partners who have helped us to develop it.”
Kodak claims the patent over preview software in camera phones is of its own and has had the same dispute with LG and Samsung from which Kodak collected royalties worth $550 and $414 million.
Later on today the International Trade Commission will give the final ruling on the case. Kodak entered the market in 1975, and ever since technology has been changing at an unthinkable pace. Nowadays the popularity of cameras has declined, thanks to digital camera integration on smartphones. Innovation and technological advancements made possible for the integration of better and higher capabilities cameras to be integrated into mobile phones, laptops, netbooks, tablets and so on.
Kodak knows very well its marginal position on the consumer electronics market, and has come up with a way of maintaining its profits: if not through adaptation of products to current electronic trends, then through licensing. Making money out of patent lawsuit is a pretty good business. A week ago, Imperium Holdings sued Apple, Kyocera, LG, Motorola Mobility, Nokia, RIM and Sony-Ericsson over infringement of 5 patents used in cameras and several mobile devices.