Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple countersues Kodak over digital imaging patents


After Kodak sued Apple over imaging related patents it believes are infringed upon with the iPhone, Apple has fired back with its own patent-related suit against Kodak, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The suit, filed last week, alleges that a number of Kodak cameras are in violation of patents owned by Apple. Cameras named in the suit are the following models:

  • Z915
  • Z series: Z950, Z1085 IS, Z1485 IS
  • M series: M340, M341, M380, M381, M530, M550, MI033, MI093 IS
  • C series: C142, C180, C182, C190, C913
  • Kodak SLICE
  • Video cameras: Zi6, Zi8, Zxl, Zx3 PLAYSPORT

Specifically cited in the suit by Apple are U.S. Patent No. 6,031,934 (entitled "Computer vision system for subject characterization"), and Patent No. RE38,911 (entitled "Modular digital image processing via an image processing chain with modifiable parameter controls"). Apple also filed a civil complaint in a U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, also alleging infringement of the two patents.

Apple's countersuit is in response to Kodak's complaint, filed in January, which accused Apple's iPhone of infringing on a patent related to previewing images. Kodak filed one suit with the ITC, and one in a U.S. District Court in New York, and also named Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices as infringing.

In February, the ITC agreed to formally investigate Kodak's complaint against Apple, which seeks to ban the importation of iPhones. The move was expected, as most high-profile complaints are given consideration.

Apple's countersuit is one of a long list of legal complaints that are before the ITC. Early this month, the U.S. commission agreed to investigate a complaint from Apple against HTC, alleging the violation of patents in a number of its Google Android and Windows Mobile handsets.

Apple has also sued Nokia, and is also being sued by the Finnish handset maker. The ITC has agreed to look into both companies' complaints of patent infringement.

And Elan Microelectronics has asked the commission to ban the import and sale of Apple products over an alleged violation of a multi-touch patent owned by the company. Elan has accused Apple of "knowingly and deliberately" using the company's technology. The ITC has not yet decided whether to pursue the claims made by Elan.