Kodak said it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames in order to focus on more profitable products, reports the Associated Press. The move isn’t surprising, as the company is slowly emerging from last month’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. “Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees,” Kodak said in a press release. The company’s digital camera and picture frame products will be phased out during the first of half of the year as Kodak instead focuses on photo printing and desktop inkjet printers. The company will continue to honor warranties and provide technical support for discontinued products, and the move is expected to result in annual savings of more than $100 million. More →
Kodak and its U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday. The petition was filed in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. During the bankruptcy, Kodak hopes to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, resolve legacy liabilities and focus on its most valuable business lines. ”Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees,” said the company in a press release. “We are also committed to working with our valued customers.” Kodak received $950 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which the company said should provide the assets needed to continue operations during the restructuring. “We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company,” said chairman and CEO Antonio Perez. Read on for Kodak’s press release. More →
Kodak is going through a financial nightmare, with reports claiming the camera company is preparing to file for bankruptcy. In what seems like a last effort to license the company’s patents, Kodak has filed patent lawsuits against HTC and Apple. Kodak claims that both smartphone manufacturers are infringing upon some of the company’s digital imaging patents. The complaint targets the iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPod touch (4th generation), claiming Apple’s devices infringe upon four patents. Obviously, the patents all relate to digital images, ranging from capturing them, to transferring photos over email, cellular networks, or wireless LAN networks.
HTC is being sued for the same four patents as Apple, with the addition of a patent that covers capturing still images while previewing motion images — the same patent is being asserted against Apple and RIM in a concurrent ITC investigation. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents speculates that the lawsuit is part of a last effort sales and marketing strategy to sell the company’s patent portfolio. Lastly, Mueller believes that even though Apple and HTC are suing each other, they will most likely team up to fight off Kodak. At the very least, the two companies could conduct a joint prior art search, or look to narrow the scope of patent claims to avoid liability for infringement. More →
Eastman Kodak could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this month or in early February according to a recent report. The troubled camera maker will likely file if it cannot sell 1,100 patents, The Wall Street Journal said Wednesday. The company is reportedly speaking with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup and Wells Fargo, and is asking for as much as $1 billion in debtor-in possession financing. The financing could help keep Kodak alive as it moves through the bankruptcy filing process. If Kodak does indeed have to file for Chapter 11, it will then try to sell its patents through the court in a bankruptcy auction, The Journal explained. Kodak may also soon be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange if it cannot recover within the next six months. More →
Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung, Microsoft… it’s hard to name a technology company that’s not currently involved in a patent battle with another firm. Google’s general counsel Kent Walker thinks the legal battles could actually hurt consumers and the landscape of today’s ever changing smartphone market. “The tech industry has a significant problem,” Walker said. “Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.” Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently said that his company will stand behind HTC, one of its Android partners, in an attempt to ensure it doesn’t lose an ongoing patent battle with Apple. “We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations,” Schmidt said. According to Bloomberg, Walker said that Google is looking to purchase patents that will allow it to compete better against its rivals, such as Apple. It is unclear what acquisitions Google will pursue in an effort to bolster its patent portfolio, but there is speculation the search giant will buy Kodak’s InterDigital arm. “Each side can blow the other up on some level –everybody can block the other’s products from coming to market,” Walker said. “You create this mutually assured destruction scenario, but it’s very expensive to get all those munitions. Buying patents so you can hit the other guy, it’s not good form. You hate to unilaterally disarm here, but we haven’t in our history.” Walker said that he’s confident Google has the muscle to “balance the scales” against the likes of Microsoft and Apple. More →
The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday its May ruling that Kodak did not infringe on Apple’s patents will stand. The two companies have been locked up in two separate legal battles for the better part of this year. Here’s how it started: Kodak first filed lawsuits against Apple and Research In Motion and accused both firms of infringing on its camera patents. That case was called “In the Matter of Certain Mobile Telephones and Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras, and Components Thereof.” A judge has already ruled in favor of RIM and Apple in that lawsuit, and it could end up costing the camera maker millions of dollars. Shortly after that case was filed, however, Apple responded with own suit against Kodak titled: “In the Matter of Digital Imaging Devices and Related Software.” That’s the suit that Kodak won in May and the one ITC ruled today will stand. “We are pleased that the commission has confirmed the ALJ’s finding that there is no violation by Kodak,” David Lanzillo, a Kodak spokesman, told Bloomberg. More →
The International Trade Commission on Thursday reversed an earlier decision in a patent case that could cost camera maker Kodak hundreds of millions of dollars from Apple and RIM. Kodak had filed suit against both firms, claiming that their mobile devices infringed on multiple patents owned by the Rochester, NY-based company. An initial ruling in favor of Kodak was under ITC review, and the commission on Thursday reversed parts of the decision that had previously been ruled in Kodak’s favor. Other parts of the original ruling were sent to be examined by a judge of administrative law, and a final ruling is scheduled to be made on August 30th. More →
An International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has ruled that Kodak did not infringe upon camera patents held by Apple. Reuters is reporting that an administrative law judge rejected the Cupertino-company’s claims, with a final decision by the ITC due on September 19th. Kodak, although not as prominent as it once was when film reigned supreme, still holds a treasure-trove of patents. “Many investors see Kodak’s value in its lucrative portfolio of intellectual property,” reads the report. “It has more than 1,000 patents and it made an estimated $630 million in 2010 from its licenses. But analysts have said this revenue from licenses is unpredictable and the portfolio might eventually dwindle.” Kodak has a pending suit filed against both Apple and Research In Motion, again surrounding smartphone camera technology, that is set to be decided upon on May 23rd. More →
The International Trade Commission is set to determine at 5:00 p.m. EDT today whether or not it will review the decision in a patent infringement suit filed against Apple and RIM by Kodak last year. A federal judge ruled in January that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones did not infringe on Kodak patents, as the company alleged. Today, that case may be reopened if the ITC finds cause to do so. Kodak previously scored big against both Samsung and LG in similar patent disputes it filed in 2008. Both companies settled ahead of an ITC ruling in those cases, and Kodak made out with $550 million from Samsung and $414 million from LG. A win against Apple and RIM would likely yield similar gains according to Kodak CEO Antonio Perez. Kodak “deserves to win,” Perez proclaimed in an interview with Bloomberg. More →
Remember how Kodak filed suit against Apple and RIM a year ago alleging patent infringement? Well, late yesterday, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled that Kodak’s case — which related to low resolution previews of videos that are displayed on-screen while recording full resolution video — is invalid. Kodak had previously won claims against LG and Samsung, after which it was able to put a licensing deal in place worth a reported $864 million. Things might not turn out that well this time around, however. RIM has filed a federal suit challenging other Kodak patents and Apple is suing Kodak for patent infringement of its patents. More →
It’s been out in Canada for a little under three weeks now, but the Motorola MILESTONE has already proven itself to be quite the popular handset thanks in part to all of the Canadians watching American TV and witnessing Verizon’s huge media blitz for the DROID. For a device that has been on sale in one form or another for many months, we have to wonder — is the MILESTONE still worth it? Put on your reading glasses, sit back and relax, and join us after the jump for our hands on the the TELUS Motorola MILESONE to find out. More →
For some, the world of digital photography can be a bit daunting. Megapixels, digital zooms, aspect ratios. Huh? For others, the only question is which in my stable of cameras shall I bring on my next outing? Whichever camp you fall in, Kodak’s EasyShare cameras are a great choice for their quality, ease of use and attractive price-point. Get this one for a song and have a great camera in your pocket for your next photo op. It takes fantastic pictures. Point and shoot, that’s it. 10.2 megapixels means you can crop away at your images to get the perfect shot – without reducing image quality. Kodak’s EasyShare system makes it a snap to capture your photos, upload them, share them and print them. And this package comes with a Charger kit so you’re always powered up and ready to go.
Eastman Kodak announced on Tuesday that it has filed complaints alleging patent infringement against LG and Samsung in both the United States District Court for the Western District of New York and the US International Trade Commission. The disputed patents involve technology related to image capture, compression and data storage and a method for previewing motion images. The complainant asks for compensation for damages resulting from the alleged infringement, though the the amount of damages was not disclosed. Kodak also seeks injunctions to prohibit Samsung and LG from subsequent importation and sale of products, believed to be the Samsung Blackjack II and the LG Dare, cited in the complaints. Both Samsung and LG will fight the patent infringement allegations with LG’s spokesman Choi Jun-hyuk saying, “Our digital-camera technology is different from the one used by Kodak. We haven’t infringed upon Kodak’s related patents.” That makes it pretty clear LG is not going to lay down, roll over and hand Kodak a big wad of cash. It looks like we have another Battle Royale brewing over emerging technologies, though this time it’s not CDMA chip sets but diminutive camera phones that are caught in the legal cross hairs. We will have to keep our eye on this to see if it is just a bunch of posturing by big companies in order to negotiate a settlement and sign licensing agreements, or if these filings will indeed trickle down and have an effect on consumer camera phone availability.
[Via CNN Money]