Apple Patent Suit against Kodak. ITC to Investigate

In a move reminiscent of HTC’s recent patent counter-suit against Apple (AAPL), Apple itself is fighting back against a patent claim made against them by Kodak, by filing it’s own counter-suit.

This is also a similar strategy to the one that Apple employed when sued by Nokia for allegedly infringing the Finnish company’s mobile handset patents.

Apple was originally hit with a suit by Kodak for various imaging patents it claims Apple infringed on. The ITC agreed to look into Kodak’s claim in February of this year.

The two patents that Apple cites in its counter suit are :

  • Apple Granted Patent 6,031,964 : System and method for using a unified memory architecture to implement a digital camera device.
  • Apple Granted Patent RE38,911 : Modular digital image processing via an image processing chain with modifiable parameter controls.

What is interesting about this pairing is that I have to wonder if it has any bearing on the lack of cameras we are seeing in iPods and iPads.

And how does the timing of this suit work with the upcoming more advanced camera in the new iPhone 4G, and imaging technology going into iPhone OS 4.0?

It seems that when the big boys get involved in Patent Suits the idea is to stack up all your various claims against one another and then play top-trumps to see what compromise can be reached.

Expect lawyers to get rich from this, and it to all probably be settled out of court.

Does Apple have a case? Or is this simply a tactic, similar to HTC’s, to try and back Kodak off? Let us know in the comments.

[AppleInsider]

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Stephen NorthcottApple Patent Suit against Kodak. ITC to Investigate