Apple seeks permission to sue already bankrupt Kodak

Summary:Apple is seeking permission to sue Kodak for alleged patent infringement.

Though Kodak is bankrupt, Apple is seeking permission from the courts to sue the company anyway for alleged patent infringement.

The patents in question relate to technologies used in printers, digital cameras, and digital picture frames, according to Bloomberg.

Kodak cannot do much for the time being in response to the claims, as it waits for a bankruptcy judge to decide its fate. But Apple is looking to that very judge to open the doors for a claim.

A filing showed that Apple intends to file a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission and a separate corresponding suit in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, which could lead to a court order blocking Kodak from using the patents.

Should Apple succeed in dragging Kodak further into financial decline, it's unlikely that a successful case would result in the handing over of cash.

The former photography giant fell into difficulties late last year and began the process for selling off its assets in a bid to save money. It fell behind in the digital market and began to transform itself into a printing company rather than one that sold film for cameras. It began and continued to produce digital cameras, but ultimately failed to compete with the then emerging market.

Since then, however, Kodak filed for bankruptcy. It listed total assets of $5.1 billion but a debt of $6.8 billion in its bankruptcy filing.

Kodak has over 1,100 patents it wants to sell. The patents could be worth as much as $2--3 billion. Since 2008, Kodak has generated nearly $2 billion in royalties and licensing fees from key patents it retains.

Related:

Topics: Legal, Apple

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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