The best defense is a great offense! Apple isn’t being meek. In response to Kodak’s lawsuit against Apple and Research in Motion (RIM) in January, Apple fought back by suing Kodak. It filed a patent complaint last April 15 with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that Kodak was actually the one who violated two of Apple’s digital imaging patents.
The complaint listed the Kodak products which they identified as having infringed unlawfully on their patents. They are namely,
- Z series: Z950, Z1085 IS, Z1485 IS
- M series: M340, M341, M380, M381, M530, M550, MI033, MI093 IS
- C series: C142, C180, C182, C190, C913
- Kodak SLICE Pocket Digital Camera
- Video cameras: Zi6, Zi8, Zxl, Zx3 PLAYSPORT
Apple cited specifically that the said Kodak products violated their U.S. Patent No. 6,031,934 (entitled “Computer vision system for subject characterization”), and Patent No. RE38,911 (entitled “Modular digital image processing via an image processing chain with modifiable parameter controls”). In addition, Apple also filed a civil complaint in a U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, again alleging infringement of the two patents. The company is demanding the above products should be banned in the U.S. market.
This is an aggressive response to Kodak’s January suit that called for the ban of Apple products sales and importation in the U.S. over the alleged violations committed by the iPhone maker on Kodak’s patent No. 6,292,218 which covers previewing digital images. And last February, The International Trade Commission has deemed Kodak’s complaint as having sufficient grounds for formal investigation. The commission already granted a favorable decision to Kodak last December when it filed the same patent complaint against Samsung.
The ITC proceedings have commenced and apparently Apple is miffed enough by this latest legal shenanigan – its company lawyers retaliated with a patent countersuit versus Kodak. Apple is already embroiled with other legal disputes with HTC, Nokia, and Elan Microelectronics, all of which involving patents.