Kodak Looking For A Pay Day From iPhone & Blackberry?


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is investigating a February 17th complaint lodged against iPhones and Blackberrys by Kodak. The case began when the digital camera and printer company accused Apple and the Blackberry firm of Research in Motion (RIM) of using the technology they developed for previewing pictures. Is this a legitimate case, or is the odd-man out envious of the cool kids on the block?

Complaint filed with USITC by Kodak against iPhone & BlackberryComplaint filed with USITC by Kodak against iPhone & Blackberry

Eastman Kodak has stated that it has made attempts to resolve this issue with both firms for years but has not come to any agreement with Apple and Research in Motion (RIM). Laura Quatela, Kodak’s chief intellectual property officer, told reporters last month. “In light of that, we are taking this action to ensure that we protect the interests of our shareholders and the existing licensees of our technology.”

Kodak, which makes digital cameras and printers, has been hit hard by the economic downturn that has dampened spending by consumers and businesses. The company has built a significant revenue stream though its patent portfolio and has said it expects licensing revenue to average at least $250 million to $350 million a year for the next several years. In 2008, the company reported $9.4 billion in revenue.

Apple and RIM are not the only companies Kodak has accused of patent infringement related to its samsung smartphonesamsung smartphonedigital camera technologies. Last month, Kodak and Samsung announced a cross-licensing agreement that ended patent-infringement suits the companies had filed against each other. As a result, the companies have dropped complaints they had filed with the USITC.

So will this new case be resolved in the same manner. Is Kodak seizing an opportunity at the expense of two very profitable companies or does it have a legitimate complaint to file this complaint? Take our POLL and let us know how you feel about this issue.