Kodak Sues Apple in Bid to Quash Claims Over Patents
By Joe Schneider - Jun 19, 2012 1:35 AM ET
Eastman Kodak Co., the bankrupt photography pioneer, sued Apple Inc. (AAPL) in a bid to quash a dispute over patents.
Kodak plans to sell its patents as part of a bankruptcy reorganization in New York and Apple is a potential purchaser, Kodak said in court papers yesterday. Apple claims it owns 10 of the patents in Kodak’s portfolio.
“Apple’s strategy has been to use its substantial cash position to delay as long as possible the payment of royalties to Kodak and to interfere” with the planned sale, Kodak said.
Kodak sought a court order declaring Apple has no interest in the 10 patents and that the photo company has permission to sell them, as well as an injunction barring Apple from asserting ownership. Since 2001 Kodak has received more than $3 billion in revenue from the patent portfolio, the company said.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in Manhattan had dismissed Kodak’s request to rule that Apple had no interest in the group of patents on June 13 and advised the photo company to file the lawsuit.
“An adversary proceeding will permit the parties to raise issues in an orderly and expeditious fashion and preserve all of their just rights,” Gropper said at the June 13 hearing.
The U.S. District Court in Manhattan, not the bankruptcy court, should hear the dispute, according to Apple. Kodak can’t use the urgency of its bankruptcy reorganization to “ramrod through a procedurally flawed and substantively meritless motion,” Apple said earlier in court papers.
The bankruptcy case is In re Eastman Kodak Co., 12-10202, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District New York (Manhattan). The district court case is In re Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ), 12-04444, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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