A U.S. bankruptcy judge has taken Apple to task - and refused its claim on two Kodak patents as the company "waited too long" to make ownership claims, according to Bloomberg.
Judge Allan Gropper ruled that the technology giant's claims on two patents were "unreasonably delayed" and attempting to wade through who-owns-what at this late stage would set back Kodak's bankruptcy case.
“If Apple’s claims proceed despite their unreasonably delayed commencement, Kodak might have to go back to the drawing board for ways to fund its case," the judge said.
In July, Kodak's request to sell over 1,000 patents under agreements anchored in bankruptcy protection was approved after filing for bankruptcy in January. However, Apple quickly claimed ownership of a number of patents -- based on inventions created when the two firms worked in collaboration to produce the QuickTake digital camera. The sale of so many patents is intended to help the company restructure as part of its bankruptcy plan.
The ruling mean that two out of 10 claims Apple has made are now redundant; both of which come from a Kodak portfolio dubbed the "digital-capture" group. Many of these patents are related to the capture, manipulation and sharing of images.
Kodak says their portfolio, containing a number of technologies used in cameras, smartphones and other devices has generated over $3 billion in revenue since 2001. Initial bids on patents are due to begin this week.
Kodak sued Apple in June, accusing the company of using the claim as part of a plan to disrupt the auction. A Kodak spokeswoman told the publication:
"With respect to several other patents to which Apple and Flashpoint only recently asserted ownership claims, Kodak believes that the facts will show that they are baseless, and nothing but an attempt to interfere with the sale of our patent portfolio."