Kodak is suing RIM and Apple to get royalty payments relating to patents, and a decision should come down today, Bloomberg says. Kodak’s CEO has said that he expects to get licensing payments totaling $1 billion.
A Kodak VP writes us: “the U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to announce whether it will review an initial determination from an ITC judge which suggested that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry don’t infringe Kodak’s patent. If the ITC’s full Commission decides to review the earlier ruling, then another process would begin at the ITC, in which the full Commission will ultimately decide if that initial determination stands.”
Kodak has a patent on image preview software in camera phones and is demanding royalties from RIM and Apple. Kodak already won royalties worth $550 and $414 million from Samsung and LG respectively.
It’s easy to see this as an example of the patent system run amok. It’s hard to imagine why “image preview in camera phones” is something that should be patented and that someone could get a licence from. As Bloomberg notes, Kodak’s actual business is faltering and the company is increasingly turning to this kind of litigious behaviour to pad its bottomline.