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Apple Seeks Court Permission To Sue Kodak For Patent Infringement 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the picking-through-the-bones dept.
First time accepted submitter yankexpat writes "The patent battles in the mobile communications space have taken another turn, as Apple has asked a court for permission to sue the bankrupt Kodak for patent infringement. From the article: 'Apple Inc. asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue Eastman Kodak Co. over allegations it’s infringing patents that Apple says cover technologies used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames. Apple said in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York that it intends to file a complaint against Kodak at the International Trade Commission and a corresponding suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan based on patent-infringement claims. The suit will seek an order blocking Kodak’s infringement, according to the filing.'"
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Apple Seeks Court Permission To Sue Kodak For Patent Infringement

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @04:16PM (#39049333)

    Looks more like Apple wants to be a creditor when Kodak finally folds up, and be paid in patents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @04:21PM (#39049467)
    Yes, an Apple/Microsoft/RIM consortium will buy up the kodak patents for $2 billion. Google will complain (after opting not to join the consortium) and buy up a third-rate camera company for $20 billion. Dan Lyons will proclaim that was google's end game all along and Apple/Microsoft/RIM just wasted their money.
  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @04:28PM (#39049633)

    Ignoring the fact that Kodak had lately been nothing but a patent troll filing suits against everyone it can in order to boost revenues? They are just getting their comeuppance and they rightfully deserve it.

  • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @04:32PM (#39049749)
    Because some organizations will pay significantly more for exclusive rights to the patent and the easiest way to acquire those rights is to buy the patent. The patent is the inventors property so why shouldn't they have the right to sell it? I have infinitely more problems with software and business method patents as a class than I do with the rights of the holder to transfer their property.
  • by JeanCroix (99825) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @04:35PM (#39049801) Journal
    Patents are no more property than an idea is property. They are government-granted privileges, like a drivers license.
  • by thoughtspace (1444717) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @04:43PM (#39049999)

    This is where the real bastardry starts. The sad fact is suing Kodak now that it has filed for bankruptcy means the ex-employees who have not been paid out yet will get much-much less. Apple are effectively ensuring the unpaid employees will get virtually nothing.

    I think this is one of the great un-addressed problems with companies. Employees forego future growth for immediate payment (salary). As a result, employees should really be paid first as they did not partake in risk - not last. Even worse, the amount owed to the real people employees is often small by comparison the whole company - but a lot to them!

  • by JeanCroix (99825) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @04:59PM (#39050403) Journal
    I've certainly thought it through, and agree with property being a government fiction. But land and objects are physical things, not ideas. If I take land from you - say you weren't strong enough to defend it - then you don't have it any more. If I take your idea, you still have it, and might not even be aware that I took it. This is the root of what's broken with intellectual "property" models as currently defined by law.
  • by xeromist (443780) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @05:04PM (#39050517)

    None of that sounds like a problem. So what if they would prefer to sell it? Tough luck IMO. Pay someone to manage your licenses if it becomes an undo burden. Remember that the purpose of patents is to provide protection so that people will be able to bring their ideas to realization without someone stealing it. Making patents non-transferable doesn't undo that but it could sure fix a lot of what's wrong with the patent system as it stands.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @05:30PM (#39050993)

    Yes, but you can certainly destroy the value of the original creators idea if you start giving it away for free.

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @05:51PM (#39051383) Homepage Journal

        Your land idea isn't totally correct. I've been watching foreclosures in my area lately. Up for court auction was a property worth about $150,000. The HOA claimed that they owned $3,000 in back HOA fees. The property was owned outright by someone in another state. It was gifted twice in the last 10 years between family members, so most likely it was an investment property.

        The HOA won the case, and the property was foreclosed on. It sold at auction for $6,000. So, the HOA got their $3k back (the judgement amount). The new owner could sell it easily at 50% value, and make a profit of about $69,000. The previous owner? Well, they have nothing but a foreclosure on their credit report.

        You don't own your property. You borrow your property from the government. If anyone claims that you owe them, your property will be taken away from you. If the government decides they want it, it will be taken away from you. If it is used in any number of crimes, it will be taken from you.

        In several states, anything used in relation to a drug crime will be seized by the state and auctioned off. So your kid gets a joint from a friend, and leaves it in the car. He (or you) are later stopped and caught with the joint. The car can be seized. The house can be seized. And you'll have a drug conviction on your criminal history. It's not hard to arrange for such things to happen either. I've known people who have been charged, because they had "drug paraphernalia". In those cases, it was an empty plastic baggie.

        Yes, you, and everything you think you own, is owned by the government. They grant permission for you to have it, and they can take it away.

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:23PM (#39054343) Homepage Journal

        Dogtanian hit it. The choice isn't between government or no government.

        The government should (must) respect the rights of the people and their possessions.

        When I worked in a jail, it was pretty simple. Inmates owned nothing. It could be seized at will, but we only seized "contraband". If we needed to seize everything (clothes, bedding, personal hygiene supplies) and throw them naked into solitary confinement, we could. They had absolutely no rights to any sort of "private" property.

        The same mentality has been systematically applied to the general public. Many people aren't familiar with "eminent domain". The government can (and will) seize your property if they can show that it is in the best interest of the government. In many areas, what they must demonstrate is pretty slim, basically consisting of "because we say".

        A government that respects the concept of private property is what we should have. This was already spelled out in the 4th amendment to the US Constitution. As with most of the constitution, it's now looked at as a curiosity of days past.

        But even in an anarchist state, there would be a concept of private property and ownership. While total chaos does imply possession is 100% proof of ownership, it doesn't work in practice that way.

        If I know that my property is mine, and I know that your property is yours, if we (the people) don't have the common understanding that this is true, there are problems. If you decide to come to my home and say "this is mine", then I could hop in your car, and drive to your home and say the same thing.

        The same applies to intellectual property. We've allowed the government to go way too far with those ownerships. The original laws allowed for a short term, so an inventor could have a period to profit from their innovations, but after that period expired, it would be for the public good.

        I haven't looked at the patents in question here. I suspect they're BS that shouldn't have ever been granted. I've been loosely attached to such lawsuits (my employers were involved, and I was informed). One that people will be familiar with was the Acacia streaming lawsuit. Who the hell granted patents on the idea of putting audio and/or video over a network? We'd been doing it for years before their patent was granted. And ya, I was on the defense side, not the plaintiff side.

        Of course, the government reserves the right to take any patent they want, make it classified, and use it for their own purposes. Again, the government can supersede the interest of the people, which in itself is (again) unconstitutional.

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