Kodak Sues Samsung for Patent Infringement, Files Chapter 11

Paul Lilly

It sort of stands to reason that a company which makes photography equipment would be all smiles, especially one that's been around for over a century. The Eastman Kodak Company, founded in 1892, hasn't had a whole lot to smile about this week. Kodak on Wednesday announced it was filing a lawsuit against Samsung for allegedly infringing on certain patents related to its digital imaging technology, and just a day later the company is filling out more paperwork as it files for Chapter 11.

Let's start with the lawsuit. Kodak, which licenses its digital imagine patents to more than 30 companies, including LG, Motorola, and Nokia, is accusing Samsung of infringing on five of its patents:

  • U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 – Electronic Camera For Initiating Capture of Still Images While Previewing Motion Images
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,210,161 – Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Camera to a Service Provider Using a Network Configuration File
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,742,084 – Network Configuration File for Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Still Camera
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,453,605 – Capturing Digital Images to be Transferred to an E-Mail Address
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,936,391 – Digital Camera with Communications Interface for Selectively Transmitting Images over a Cellular Phone Network and a Wireless LAN Network to a Destination

Koday claims the above patents are being used in certain Samsung tablets. It's unclear how much in damages Kodak is seeking, but apparently the company can use all the money it can get these days. In a separate announcement , Kodak said it filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 business reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

"After considering the advantages of Chapter 11 at this time, the Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak," said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers.

"Chapter 11 gives us the best opportunities to maximize the value in two critical parts of our technology portfolio: our digital capture patents, which are essential for a wide range of mobile and other consumer electronic devices that capture digital images and have generated over $3 billion of licensing revenues since 2003; and our breakthrough printing and deposition technologies, which give Kodak a competitive advantage in our growing digital businesses."

While building its digital business, Kodak says it has already exited certain traditional businesses, closing 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing labs, while also reducing its workforce by 47,000 since 2003.

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