Protecting its images
As the PC, telco and consumer electronics industries continue to converge, the incidence of the major players treading on each other's toes seems to be increasing.
Apple is possibly the ultimate exponent of this convergence, so it shouldn't be too surprising to see it at the centre a spate of patent related spats. Late last year, handset giant Nokia pointed its lawyers at Apple, alleging it had infringed on some of its wireless communication patents in the iPhone. Apple eventually counter-sued, as convention demands.
Now we've got camera giant Kodak entering the fray, alleging that Apple and RIM - the maker of the BlackBerry - have infringed on some of its digital imaging technology. As ever, this action comes after the respective companies had been in discussions to resolve this stuff out of court, and failed.
"Kodak has a long history of digital imaging innovation and we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating our industry-leading patent portfolio," insisted Laura Quatela, chief intellectual property officer, and VP at Kodak. "In the case of Apple and RIM, we've had discussions for years with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue amicably, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement."
The devices in question are the iPhones and the camera-enabled BlackBerrys and the technology is involved in previewing images. Kodak has already won a similar case against Samsung, and there are also another two digital imaging IP infringements alleged against Apple.