Eastman Kodak launches imaging lawsuits

Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY, USA) filed lawsuits this week against Apple and HTC, alleging that they had infringed certain of its patents relating to digital imaging technology.

Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY, USA) filed lawsuits this week against Apple and HTC, alleging that they had infringed certain of its patents relating to digital imaging technology.

A complaint filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) specifically claims that certain Apple iPhones, iPads, and iPods, and certain HTC smart phones and tablets infringe patents relating to technology for transmitting images.

Kodak also alleges that certain HTC smart phones infringe a patent that covers a method for previewing images which is already the subject of pending actions against Apple.

"We've had numerous discussions with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement," says Laura Quatela, president and chief operating officer of Eastman Kodak.

Kodak has licensed patents related to digital imaging technology to more than 30 companies, including mobile-device makers such as LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Nokia.

In the complaint against Apple and HTC, Kodak is asking the ITC to issue an exclusion order preventing the import of infringing devices, including mobile telephones and wireless communication devices featuring digital cameras.

The complaints against Apple and HTC assert infringement of the following four patents:
1. US Patent 7,210,161 - "Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Camera to a Service Provider Using a Network Configuration File."
2. US Patent 7,742,084 - "Network Configuration File for Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Still Camera."
3. US Patent 7,453,605 - "Capturing Digital Images to be Transferred to an E-Mail Address."
4. US Patent 7,936,391 – "Digital Camera with Communications Interface for Selectively Transmitting Images over a Cellular Phone Network and a Wireless LAN Network to a Destination."

Kodak also claims that HTC has infringed Kodak's US Patent 6,292,218 - "Electronic Camera for Initiating Capture of Still Images While Previewing Motion Images," which is the same patent at issue in a pending ITC action initiated by Kodak in January 2010 against Apple and Research In Motion.

-- By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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