Kodak sues Apple, HTC over digital patents

Kodak accuses Apple and HTC of violating patents linked to digital imaging technology; files complaints with U.S. International Trade Commission.

Ailing camera and imaging company Eastman Kodak continues to target rivals infringing on its patent portfolio, this time suing Apple and HTC.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Kodak filed suit against Cupertino accusing it of infringing four patents linked to its digital imaging technology. Taiwanese handset maker HTC was also identified as having infringed on five patents. Both lawsuits were filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the report stated.

Apple did not respond to Reuters' request for comment, while an HTC spokesperson said it was premature to comment until the company could review the complaints.

Kodak in 2010 also filed a lawsuit against Apple and BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion, which could yield about US$1 billion in licensing fees for the beleaguered company. The case is still being evaluated by the ITC, with the ruling date set on Sep. 21, 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported last December.

Kodak earlier this month was reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy amid efforts to sell off its patents to keep the 131-year-old company afloat.

The company previously highlighted in its third-quarter financial report that its intellectual property strategy had three goals: to provide the company with design freedom to develop and introduce innovative new products; to provide access to new markets and new partnerships; and to generate income and cash.

Streamlining operations
Kodak on Tuesday also announced it had reorganized its operations, reducing the number of business segments from three to two. The commercial unit will report to Philip Faraci, who will continue to serve as the company's president while taking on the COO role, while the consumer segment will be headed up by COO Laura Quatela. Both will report to Antonio Perez, the company's chairman and CEO.

"As we complete Kodak's transformation to a digital company, our future markets will be very different from out past and we need to organize ourselves in keeping with that evolution," Perez said in a statement.

"This new structure simplifies the organization, focuses it more precisely on our consumer and commercial customers, and puts the right people in place to capitalize fully on the tremendous technological capabilities of Kodak."