Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Kodak Sues HTC and Apple

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the new-business-strategy dept.

Patents 177

alphadogg writes "Here we go again with mobile industry patent lawsuits: 'Struggling Eastman Kodak is alleging that Apple's and HTC's smartphones and tablets infringe on its digital imaging technology, and has filed a complaint and lawsuits with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. The complaint to the ITC claims that some of Apple's iPhones, iPads, and iPods, and HTC's smartphones and tablets, infringe Kodak patents related to technology for transmitting images. Kodak also alleges that HTC's smartphones infringe on a patent related to a method for previewing images, which is already the subject of pending actions against Apple.'"

cancel ×

177 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Kodak's Future... (4, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38663946)

Perhaps this gives us a clue about Kodakâ(TM)s future plans to be solvent: Patent Troll? They have already sued Apple and RIM recently...

Re:Kodak's Future... (4, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664004)

businessweek article doesn't really detail the patents in question. 'previewing an image'. was 'on a camera' the re-patent everything catchphrase that only Kodak thought of? after generating the image, it's a computer file. it's on a really poor computer. the computer displays the image on a screen, as has been done for decades. transmission of images? again, after generation, its a file. sending a file via some already established protocol shouldn't be patentable for some types of files.

of course, I'm assuming it's all software, not hardware. If anyone knows the patents in question, it would be interesting to see the claims.

Re:Kodak's Future... (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664192)

the camera screens have smaller resolutions than the photo so you will need an algorithm to downgrade the image, that part is patentable. icloud does something similar where the photo stream images are lesser resolutions than the original. so i guess apple could have ripped them off if they used the same algorithm

Re:Kodak's Future... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664430)

the camera screens have smaller resolutions than the photo so you will need an algorithm to downgrade the image, that part is patentable

Or would be, if downscaling algorithms hadn't been known for decades. Of course, if you write "downscaling...on a mobile device", that's a new patent. Then you can write dependent claims like
"method of claim X, where the downscaling is nearest-neighbor interpolation"
"method of claim X, where the downscaling is bilinear interpolation"
"method of claim X, where different downscaling methods are used on the luma and chroma components"
(stop me if you've heard all this before)

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

EvilGrin5000 (951851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664476)

Isn't what you're saying the same as a thumbnail of a pic? or 'fit to screen', zoom in/out ? I agree that this algorithm is (unfortunately) patentable but if this is what they're complaining about (I didn't read TFA, just going off from your comment) wouldn't this be considered prior art?

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664726)

Most screens are lower resolution than the photo clicked by a digicam
1920*1080 which is the highest consumer resolution available is around 2MP
2560*1600 which is the highest resolution available for individual displays in the market is around 4MP

Karma Troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664204)

Karma Troll attaching post to First Post: BUSTED!

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664922)

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2012/01/eastman-kodak-sues-apple-over-four-and.html Foss Patents details the patents. Filed in 2001 and most seem obvious to me, but hindsight is 20/20. The patents cover the process of uploading photos to the internet directly from a camera without connecting the camera to a computer. The one I read covers storing a config file on the camera that contains the info needed (ip addresses, account name, passwords, baud rate, and serial port info are given as examples) for the camera to connect to an online service to upload the pictures to. If these patents hold up, every single smart phone manufacture (and most dumber phones) would need to license them.

The question I have is a smart phone a camera? Just because the phone has a camera sensor, is it a camera? Because my laptop has a built in web cam does that make it a camera as well? If si it would seem like this patent would apply.

Re:Kodak's Future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664076)

Perhaps this gives us a clue about Kodakâ(TM)s future plans to be solvent: Patent Troll? They have already sued Apple and RIM recently...

I understand what you're saying, and I agree that this seems like Kodak is going straight into Patent Troll territory as a last-ditch effort to survive, but maybe you could rephrase that last part? It almost sounds like "if anyone sues Apple or RIM, ZOMG TEHY MUST BE TEH PATANT TROLLLLLLL!!!1!1!!".

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664108)

SCO?

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664124)

Perhaps this gives us a clue about Kodakâ(TM)s future plans to be solvent...

I see it more like an attempt to capitalize their patents and earn a few extra bucks before the ship sinks.

Re:Kodak's Future... (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664530)

Or push up the perceived value of their assets for a potential buyer.

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664760)

not if they lose... and their ITC complaint against Apple and RIM hasn't been going to well for them.

Re:Kodak's Future... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664160)

Given that Kodak did substantial amounts of actually pioneering work in imaging(I'm sort of saddened that some bullshit about 'preview' was the best they could dredge up for some trolling) and then managed to do for digital cameras approximately what Xerox did for PCs, I suspect that shaking down the people who didn't reach deep into the mouth of victory and grasp hold of defeat will be what their patent portfolio ends up being used for...

The thing that surprises me, a bit, about Kodak's fall from grace is that being a film titan, at their prime, involved substantial chemical manufacturing capacity and expertise. Was that non-transferrable to some other area of chemical production, or did they somehow get rid of their boring-but-solvent departments in some strange reorganization scheme? Same question would go for any departments involved in optics, industrial imaging, etc.

Re:Kodak's Future... (0)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664402)

Hehehe.... Manufacturing on US soil? Hehehe. You must be kidding. A company could stay in business that way, you gotta watch out for that.

Re:Kodak's Future... (2)

Roonster (595721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664566)

..snipped... The thing that surprises me, a bit, about Kodak's fall from grace is that being a film titan, at their prime, involved substantial chemical manufacturing capacity and expertise. Was that non-transferrable to some other area of chemical production, or did they somehow get rid of their boring-but-solvent departments in some strange reorganization scheme? Same question would go for any departments involved in optics, industrial imaging, etc.

Yes, they sold off most of their sustainable viable technologies. See Eastman Chemicals for example.

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664960)

Do you know if this was in a fit of some sort of weird exuberance about the imaginary all-IP economy of the future, where boring things like actually doing stuff will be abandoned; or has the notion that "Kodak" has some kind of hope really just been propped up as long as it has in order to make time to get the real assets shoved into legally separate boxes and centralize the liabilities for the sacrificial bankruptcy of a nearly asset-less shell?

Re:Kodak's Future... (5, Informative)

Asmodae (1155077) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665146)

If I recall correctly it had more to do with some arbitrary and insane insistence on 'Consumer Imaging' being the business focus, which is why you got cheap consumer cameras (easy share), printer docs (with attempts to cash in on printer paper consumables), but little pro-sumer stuff, and the occasional/rare super high-end imagers/gear (like those used in telescopes, etc).

This is also why they sold off/spun off their profitable medical imaging groups, chemicals group, and they've tried to get rid of their profitable Document Imaging group (high-end, high-speed document scanners) several times. They've been constantly trying to push themselves into the most difficult and price-competitive market possible, cheapo consumer cameras. I think the ultimate goal was to maintain some kind of grasp of the photo printing business as their cash cow with consumable manufacturing/selling. To be fair, they still do a good job printing pictures, but people don't really want/need to do that anymore with rare exceptions. And people that still do prints do it in-house or have local labs that do the work.

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664202)

Kodak has always been a patent troll. They come up with good original ideas but then release half-assed poor implementations. The market reacts by creating an actual decent product based on the original idea. Kodak then sues the creators of the good product.

They're not unlike Philips in that way.

Re:Kodak's Future... (3, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665096)

You say that as though coming up with good original ideas and bringing them to market is the easy bit. That's kind of what the whole patent process should be there to protect, otherwise it's almost always better to be second to market, let some other chump do all the costly research and development, then you just bring out a shinier version of their product based on initial feedback. Companies that come up with ideas and put them into production are far more useful than companies who have zero interest in bringing a product to market and just patent the patently obvious so they can reap the benefits in licensing deals/court cases.

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664310)

You aren't a patent troll when you ACTUALLY INVENTED THE PATENTED TECHNOLOGY. Like, as in, they invented the whole digital camera thing.

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664688)

You are if you didn't really do much with the patents at the beginning, and are now only trying to extract substance from the few remaining fumes of what you once had.

Re:Kodak's Future... (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664718)

Not quite true. There were lots of early leaders using CCD devices to produce still images; some of them went to tape, others to primitive onboard storage. Sony even used a floppy disk drive at one point.

There may be a lot of prior art to some of the claims that invalidate them, but Kodak did do a lot of pioneering research in the area. The usual process is to have the defendents claim that the patents aren't legal, and otherwise them invalidated. Barring that, they'll try to get the complaint squashed on other grounds. Barring that, they'll try to settle for the least painful method, which might include exchanging various "rights" or portfolios of "rights" which allows Kodak to use the defendents property. In the worst case, there's a hideous judgment, which will then be appealed. IANAL, but don't be so sure Kodak invented everything they claim.

Re:Kodak's Future... (2)

north.coaster (136450) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664340)

Kodak is currently trying to sell a large number of it's imaging patents. Maybe they see this lawsuit as a way to motivate one of the defendants to buy these patents. Or maybe they see this as a way to increase the worth of those patents.

Apple is the Patent Troll to sue! Go get them! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664382)

Apple is the Patent Troll to sue! Go get them!

Who like a rotten Apple?

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664420)

"Four patents are the basis for Kodak's actions, including one for "automatically transmitting images from an electronic camera to a service provider using a network configuration file" and another patent for "capturing digital images to be transferred to an email address."

Yeah those aren't obvious *eye roll*

There is a common misconception here at Slashdot.. (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664602)

Yeah those aren't obvious *eye roll*

There is a common misconception here at Slashdot that doing something "obvious" makes the patent frivolous.

The issue usually *IS NOT* what end result is, but *HOW* the patented process does it.

There are all sorts of incredibly novel and innovative and not-so-obvious ways to do very obvious things.

Re:There is a common misconception here at Slashdo (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664720)

"There are all sorts of incredibly novel and innovative and not-so-obvious ways to do very obvious things."

And 99% of those are kludged, bloated, and dog-slow.

Re:There is a common misconception here at Slashdo (0)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664830)

And 100% of your comment is irrelevant.

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

Wilf_Brim (919371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664684)

I guess that they have decided to go the route of TiVo. It seems to be working out well enough for them (even speaking as a TiVo fan with 2 boxes with Lifetime subs) they have essentially stopped even the appearance of innovating and are instead milking money in 100-500 million dollar settlements. Next up on the block for them AT&T. The digital imaging world is far, far bigger than the set top box world. If they do have legitimate patents here, they may be able to extract a significant amount of cash. Even one or two dollars per device would spin off plenty. Or maybe. It would be enough to create some breathing space to try something else. Since Kodak appears incapable of doing that, all it would really do is stave off the invevitible for a bit longer.

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664756)

Well, they've certainly lost the competitive edge they had in the 90s...

Re:Kodak's Future... (1)

martin (1336) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664894)

going the way of SCO (and look where that ended up) - as already stated. Seems the accountants now running the place have only one place left to try and find some income. Sad.

Re:Kodak's Future... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665126)

Perhaps this gives us a clue about KodakÃ(TM)s future plans to be solvent: Patent Troll? They have already sued Apple and RIM recently...

Well, they're currently offering their patent portfolio for sale, so I'm guessing it's a general sales tactic.

Of course, it also means a REAL patent troll may come about and pick it up. Or perhaps Apple may buy the portfolio and extract money from everyone. Or Google. Or Microsoft.

Death Rattle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38663958)

Yesterday on the news it was about Kodak going bankrupt, now they are suing other company's as a last ditch effort. This is a death rattle, nothing more.

Re:Death Rattle (2)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38663984)

Death rattle, but could be an annoying one. Three scenarios:

1) Last ditch effort to survive.
2) Start lawsuits, adds potential value due to potential win/settlement.
3) They are already going down, already going bankrupt, maybe they can drag down some of those who helped put them in this spot in the process.

Re:Death Rattle (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664164)

maybe they can drag down some of those who helped put them in this spot in the process

I'm sorry, but only Kodak put Kodak into this spot ... they've staunchly refused/failed to move forward, have rested on their laurels while the industry changed around them ... and to be honest, they've made abysmally low quality consumer stuff for years.

My wife's parents now have their second Kodak camera ... truthfully, it's a POS, but they don't use it much and is simple for them to use. We bought a photo printer that died in a few weeks. The one we returned it for died a few weeks after that. Utter garbage.

I have no sympathy for Kodak. I mourned the loss of Kodachrome, but that was more nostalgia. Seriously, Kodak hasn't made anything of value in years ... and I currently own something like 5 or 6 cameras, so it's not like I'm not in the market for things you'd think they'd be making.

This is just the dying throws of a company who has failed to remain relevant in a changing environment.

Re:Death Rattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664506)

They made some good stuff in the past. I remember their consumer grade photo printers which made surprisingly good prints, because it would print the usual CMYK, but then it would print a clear fifth layer on top of it all for UV protection.

My fear is that some PHB at Kodak is looking to start suing other companies (what do they have to lose at this time), in hopes that other companies will bid on Kodak's patent portfolio for their own games. Apple would want Kodak's patents because it could be used to sue Android makers into the ground. Same with Google using that as a lever against iOS.

I'm sure someone is going to buy Kodak out, and my bets likely are on Apple -- it would give them another set of ammunition to choke everyone else out of the market.

Re:Death Rattle (3, Insightful)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664784)

I don't know, I'd bet Google would be willing to give Apple a run for their money on the Kodak patents, given the patent acquisition spree they've been on recently.

Re:Death Rattle (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664560)

Not true at all, not when you have so called 'anti-trust' legislation thrown against you by the government [nytimes.com] .

I am not saying that Kodak would have survived for sure if government wasn't attacking it earlier, but you can't say they were at fault for their business when government was heavily meddling with it.

It's similar enough with the government interfering with AT&T and T-Mobile. Gov't prevents the merger and later one or both companies will suffer enough damage that may put them out of business, but you will say: it's definitely their fault, they couldn't survive in the market. Well, how do you know that the merger would not have given them some sort of an edge that they need to survive?

You can't have government interfering with private businesses, private property with all these unconstitutional regulations and laws and taxes and counterfeiting and then say - these companies were definitely destined for failure or these entire markets were definitely destined for failure.

The only thing we know for sure is that when government interferes with market, it causes failure.

Re:Death Rattle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664820)

AT&T merging with T-Mobile is extremely bad for the consumer, and a large number of employees within both companies. The only people it benefits are the major shareholders, because they'll be able to manipulate the market. This has absolutely nothing to do with Kodak repeatedly ignoring where digital photography was going, and then hiding their heads in the sand as the world ignored them.

Kodak have had the tech, the knowledge and the brand name to do well. They fucked up. They should be used as an example of what happens to big players when the market moves and stuffy old farts choose to ignore every warning sign there is.

Re:Death Rattle (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664848)

Not true at all, not when you have so called 'anti-trust' legislation thrown against you by the government

I've read that article ... and, quite honestly, it sounds like a legitimate applilcation of anti-trust legistlation ...

Kodak also asked the Court to rule that the market for a single brand of a product or service -- such as its own replacement parts -- can never be a "market" for assessing monopoly behavior under the Sherman Act.

"We disagree," Justice Blackmun said, adding that "the relevant market for antitrust purposes is determined by the choices available to Kodak equipment owners," who must use Kodak parts.

That's like saying that I can't legally have someone else service my car because GM has forbade it. It's my property, and I can employ who I like to repair it. GM doesn't have the right to restrict that, and neither did Kodak

The only thing we know for sure is that when government interferes with market, it causes failure.

Blah blah blah ... corporations would fuck us all over if someone didn't keep an eye on them. Don't believe me? Go feed your children some melamine laced [wikipedia.org] baby formula.

The all wonderful free market is a philosophical ideal to some people ... to the rest of us, it's a mechanism which if not controlled will lead to horribly bad results. And, quite frankly, even with controls it does.

But, I can tell that you kneel at the altar and think it's infallible ... so, whatever ... I completely disagree with you.

Re:Death Rattle (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664920)

- except that the regulation itself is unconstitutional and the fact is that all monopolies are created by government, not by market. In free market monopolies don't exist, only economies of scale, only companies that provide good product at good price, otherwise others enter the market with new ideas, tech and better prices.

But, I can tell that you kneel at the altar and think it's infallible ... so, whatever ... I completely disagree with you.

- that's a straw-man, I don't know what it means 'markets are infallible', I don't know what a 'fallibility' of a market is.

What I do know is that governments interfere with private individuals making private decisions and they end up destroying the markets.

Blah blah blah ... corporations would fuck us all over if someone didn't keep an eye on them. Don't believe me? Go feed your children some melamine laced baby formula.

- sure, this happens, and it's a crime, nobody has the right to harm others. There is nothing that needs to be done from 'regulations' point of view, only the existing criminal laws need to apply.

Of-course governments created the moral hazard by removing legal liability from corporations and so it's near impossible to hold anybody personally responsible and that is a problem, but again, it's a government created problem.

Re:Death Rattle (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664876)

Getting bought out is one of the methods of "not surviving". Doesn't matter if you're T-Mobile or Kodak.

Re:Death Rattle (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665088)

Well, not necessarily, often people start companies with the goal of selling them, sometimes owners just want to retire. This is not one of those situations here, but the government involvement is likely to cause massive layoffs in one or both of these companies later on.

Re:"low quality" flatters them too much (2)

Jerry Atrick (2461566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664686)

I bought a 5MP Kodak camera long ago as an upgrade from a Konica Minolta X20 (very tiny 3MP digicam - wife's still using it). Immediately discovered the highest quality settings on the Kodak were worse than the lowest quality settings on the X20, worse even comparing 3MP vs 5MP images. So badly compressed you could see the artefacts even on the camera LCD. Went back the same day.

Kodak were so intent on protecting their film business they never took digicams seriously and ruined their own business by crippling their own cameras. They deserve to die, no-one killed them, it was suicide.

Re:"low quality" flatters them too much (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664910)

Kodak were so intent on protecting their film business they never took digicams seriously and ruined their own business by crippling their own cameras. They deserve to die, no-one killed them, it was suicide.

I think the word you want is hubris [wikipedia.org] .

It wasn't suicide, it was stupidity and arrogance.

Re:Death Rattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664324)

Missing option:
4) Desperate attempt to get someone to buy them for their patent portfolio/get them off their backs.

File this under "ugly."

Re:Death Rattle (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664044)

It might be their last bastion of profit - lawsuits with their patent warchest. That's nothing unusual with massive companies- they're always suing eachother. The question becomes how bullish - SCO-til-the-last-lawyer-stands?

Re:Death Rattle (1)

ad454 (325846) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664064)

A death rattle can last for many many years. All that they have to do is follow SCO example, and fire everyone and just spend the remaining money on legal fees. And when the money is dried up, the lawyers can then receive guaranteed cash from future settlements.

Interesting that most of the innovation in the US is legally based, and not based on science or engineering.

Re:Death Rattle (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664232)

In a sane justice system this lawsuit would be rejected the moment it was filed. Has Kodak been living in a different universe for the last 5 or six years? If i recall correctly all those violating products have been in the market for some time now

no time limit on patents...not like trademarks (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665246)

There's nothing that says you need to defend a patent immediately. It's not like a trademark where if you don't defend it then you lose it.

Re:Death Rattle (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664438)

All that they have to do is follow SCO example, and fire everyone and just spend the remaining money on legal fees.

Well, sorta. SCOX lasted a lot longer than they otherwise would have thanks to their little (copyright, not patent) adventure, but there was no settlement, the final death was rather inglorious, and any recognizable name involved with it became pure poison in the industry.

If anything, I think that the whole SCOX story taught a valuable lesson about how not to run a company's exit strategy.

When you can't innovate, (1, Insightful)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | more than 2 years ago | (#38663978)

Litigate

Re:When you can't innovate, (4, Informative)

demachina (71715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664110)

Kodak has been pretty capable on the innovation front. They pretty much invented the digital camera. Their problem has been the business execution to make money off their innovation.

Though of late they probably haven't been innovating so much. Their current CEO has made two failed attempts to become a printer company and a TV company which are two markets which are completely dominated by incumbents and they've been bleeding money throughout the attempt.

Re:When you can't innovate, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664384)

Kodak is far from being capable on the innovation front. They made the first digital camera in 1975 but they where not capable of making it into a practical useful consumer product for over thirty years. This is definitely not a prime example of innovation. On the contrary I would say.

Re:When you can't innovate, (1)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665190)

Part of the problem was that there was infighting and lack of vision by the top brass of Kodak. They didn't invest enough in new tech in order to develop it properly until it was too late. Part of it is that they wanted to protect the film cash cow.

Re:When you can't innovate, (1)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664426)

I live in Rochester where their HQ is, and the town is dominated by their presence.

I agree that that they came up with good stuff - but the business/marketing people put the kabash on things

Don't split your (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664190)

sentence between the subject and body. It's stupid and annoying.

No, it's n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664652)

ot, it makes me stand out and feel special in an online comment forum, since that's the only possible means of individuality I have the capacity to comprehend!

In fact, I'm trying to make it even more annoying so that everyone notices me! Me me me me! MEEEEEE!

Re:When you can't innovate, (4, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664218)

The landlord says the rent is late, you may have to litigate

Don't worry, Beeeeeeeee Happy....

Heh... in the 90s... (2)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664018)

...Apple and Kodak were the first two companies out of the gate with the very first consumer level digital cameras.

Re:Heh... in the 90s... (3, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664090)

And the QuickTake 100 and 150 were both rebranded Kodak hardware.

Re:Heh... in the 90s... (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664180)

Kodak is the Xerox of digital imaging.

Re:Heh... in the 90s... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664432)

As the inventors of laser printers, I think you'll find that Xerox is the Xerox of digital imaging...

Re:Heh... in the 90s... (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665226)

Im thinking in this case that digital has a relation to binary.

Tired of this (1, Informative)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664030)

Are we honestly still to believe that current copyright law is driving innovation?

Re:Tired of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664078)

Am I honestly to believe that Apple and HTC will stop innovating because of this suit? I am inclined to believe that this suit could allow Kodak to avoid bankruptcy and continue their research which previously brought us things like digital photography in the first place. So in this case, current PATENT law is not hurting innovation at all. It's doing even less wrt t copyright.

Re:Tired of this (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664134)

So in this case, current PATENT law is not hurting innovation at all. It's doing even less wrt t copyright.

Uhm. So, because Apple and HTC have big enough war-chests of patents, departments of lawyers on call and huge investments and budgets set aside for these situations, we're fine? I agree that Apple and HTC are fine, but I am not sure I am fine with those things being a requisite for being allowed to innovate...

Re:Tired of this (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664778)

"I am inclined to believe that this suit could allow Kodak to avoid bankruptcy and continue their research which previously brought us things like digital photography"

Too bad they're light-fields behind Lytro. See what I did there?

Re:Tired of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665240)

"I am inclined to believe that this suit could allow Kodak to avoid bankruptcy and continue their research which previously brought us things like digital photography"

Too bad they're light-fields behind Lytro. See what I did there?

That's not a very focused joke.

Re:Tired of this (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665260)

What if someone wanted to innovate and DIDN'T have a war-chest of patents to protect the gates? Besides, money diverted from research & innovation is money wasted in this case.
Let's not get stupid in the discussion.

Re:Tired of this (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664094)

Are we honestly still to believe that current copyright law is driving innovation?

Copyright is different from patent ... but, it's hard to believe patents are spurring any innovation. They have quite the opposite result since only the big players can get into the game as they've all cross licensed a bazillion stupid patents.

These patents sounds like all the ones we joke are "system for doing something well known, but on a computer" ... instead, it's "but on a camera". And, as has been pointed out in this thread, nowadays a camera is a subset of computer, really.

I'm sure there are some technologies in this ... but transferring an image via email? well, that's MIME. And image preview? My god, nobody ever thought of that!!

The worst thing is that apparently a bunch of companies have already licensed these patents. The patent system is so horribly broken as to be a joke ... unfortunately, we're stuck with it for now.

Re:Tired of this (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664252)

Copyright is different from patent

Indeed, both are fatally flawed, but in different ways. Copyrights are free, and cheap to register, and are easy to get, but they lasy WAY too long and carry way too many restrictions.

Patents, otoh, only last 20 years but they cost so much that you have to be rich to get one.

Imagine how technology would stagnate if patents lasted 95 years longer than their inventors? That's how art is stagnating. But patents could spur a lot more innovation if you or I could reasonably obtain them.

Re:Tired of this (0)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664102)

My thoughts exactly. This is getting ridiculous. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any solution as long as government is bought and paid-for by corporations.

Maybe it's time to end corporate personhood? [movetoamend.org]

Re:Tired of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664230)

The point of patent law is to protect property, not foster innovation.

Re:Tired of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664262)

Are we honestly still to believe that current copyright law is driving innovation?

Patent lawsuit... Kodak's patents... infringe on a patent... copyright law. You obviously didn't read any of it, so you probably don't care as much as you want us to believe.

Companies copying other companies' technologies or ideas, at no cost, does not drive innovation, no.

Re:Tired of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664656)

Yes. Intellectual property laws allow investors to reduce risk when putting money into innovative, and hence inherently risky, projects. Without copyright or patent law, the second mover advantage would be crippling.

Without those laws there would be no investment except internal investment made by incumbents who already hold effective monopolies. Any innovative product made in a skunkworks would instantly be ripped off by larger companies capturing the entire market with cheaper production methods and zero research costs.

Is that really the world you want? Because it doesn't sound like a very innovative place to me.

First, it's patents, not copyrights. (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665142)

Second, Kodak is a company that can actually claim to have developed real, patentable products in the imaging arena. One of the few such companies, actually.

Re:Tired of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665204)

Well this is Patent law, entirely different from copyright law. But it seems when you can't do anything without stepping on half a dozen patents, that something is wrong.

No worries, Apple has an ace in the hole (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664040)

Apple recently patented "methods of extracting monetary compensation by engaging in litigation over patent rights."

Re:No worries, Apple has an ace in the hole (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664352)

I know you're being facetious, but that really sounds more like a Microsoft patent. They're the ones that have been shaking companies down for money. Apple seems more interested in getting products or product features pulled.

Re:No worries, Apple has an ace in the hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664406)

Halliburton, actually. Far more evil company. http://yro.slashdot.org/story/08/11/10/1651236/halliburton-applies-for-patent-trolling-patent

Re:No worries, Apple has an ace in the hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665110)

Oh wait he removed part of the patented wording that makes it Apple.

"With a touch screen"

There fixed that for him.

Re:No worries, Apple has an ace in the hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664366)

Apple recently patented "methods of extracting monetary compensation by engaging in litigation over patent rights."

Awesome!!!!!

Ah, more drektastic patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664070)

Assuming this is a sufficiently accurate summary of two of the patents:

"automatically transmitting images from an electronic camera to a service provider using a network configuration file"

Ok, so use a local configuration file...

"capturing digital images to be transferred to an email address."

I have prior art in all the photo-emails that I was getting back in the days of 14.4 baud modems. Those took way too long to load.

The 'obviousness' test... (2)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664080)

How obvious do things have to be?

FFS, 90% of the patents you hear about are things that simply come from a software engineer implementing a feature the way just about any other software engineer would do it. It's "obvious" that this is a potential solution.

I can understand patenting things that seem to be game changers, real breakthroughs (some algorithmic work for example), but methods of previewing images? The Amazon 'one-click' patent? FFS, how that hasn't been "obvious"ed to death, I'll never know. Hmmm, do you think people like to do things easier or faster. What? Remember their default choices and offer them a "do the same sh** you did the last time I bought something" button? HOLY CRAP THAT IS GENIUS! Lol...

Re:The 'obviousness' test... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664316)

I can understand patenting things that seem to be game changers, real breakthroughs (some algorithmic work for example), but methods of previewing images?

Methods for previewing images taken at x resolution and held in some specific format THEN down-graded to y resolution in some other specific resolution for the display (perhaps in hardware OR perhaps in software, but probably BOTH) does involve algorithms that might very well involve "innovation".

But that doesn't mean Kodak hasn't made a fundamental shift in their basic revenue concept from innovating products that they eventually ship, to trolling their existing patent portfolio.

Re:The 'obviousness' test... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664662)

Wouldn't be so quick to define it as *trolling*. If it were YOUR idea that YOU had patented, you would be more likely to call it "protecting my intellectual property rights". It's all in the side of the argument you're taking...

Re:The 'obviousness' test... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664942)

Anything 'might' be innovation, the likelyhood is that there is none, especially given the patents I've reviewed. Hell, my company owns a patent that is reasonably innovating in the field of Natural Language Processing, and it is RIDICULOUSLY broad. Basically, if you perform a statistical analysis of textual input (including input from a voice recognition system) in order to discern a goal or request of the initiator you're bordering on a patent violation - how crazy is that? The patent office should never have approved it without greater specificity.

The good news is that we filed it for self-protection purposes, the bad news is that I may not always be making the tech decisions for this company, we may be purchased in the near future - who knows what that means for the patent. Technically a whole slew of IVR systems are in violation of it.

Software Patents need to go away. The harm far outweighs the good.

Stop sueing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664214)

Leave HTC alooooone. Their android devices are far and away the best of the pack I've used. Just...just stop.

Restructuring (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664236)

Here is what will happen to the company if it goes bankrupt: various auctions, where parts of the company will be sold, or maybe just one buy out for a fraction of the cost, then there will be restructuring, which means assets will be salvaged, jobs eliminated, maybe departments will be sold off maybe technologies will be sold off, maybe the company will be rebuilt as a different company with some income generating streams, whatever. This is the same thing that happens when they take down an old ship or a plane or a train for example - parts and materials are salvaged, whatever can be sold is then sold.

The point of this is huge - it's to allow reuse/recycle of technologies and possibly jobs (even departments). Of-course Buffet is in this business, that's why he likes death taxes, because it gives him more opportunity for business, because taxes mostly can be paid only after assets are sold, such as businesses. Romney was in that business and now Gingrich and Santorum and Huntsman are saying he is a 'bad person' for doing this? Those sell outs.

When companies go down, just like any other assets, you have to reclaim what can be reused and recycled, otherwise untold amounts of useful technology and knowledge can be lost and even existing customers will go without any support. This is useful.

Of-course Kodak was attacked by the government in an anti-trust [nytimes.com] case and that is likely why the existing company with its existing management couldn't make the company survive.

Government loves to talk about jobs. Well here are a bunch of jobs they helped to destroy.

So it's like this ... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664326)

Kodak is the new SCO.
Just wait until they start asking for a $699 fee to use a digital camera.

LK

wait wait wait... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664534)

Wasn't Kodak pretty much last into the consumer digital market? Quite famously so, as I recall. That DCS monstrosity from the eighties doesn't count.

Re:wait wait wait... (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664998)

They were one of the first. They were selling Kodak Digital Science cameras in the mid-90s. But they never really developed it much (and the optics weren't much good in those cameras either)

Go Kodak! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664790)

Learn those IP stealing bastards in Cupertino a lesson!

Kodak is not a patent troll (3, Informative)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38664794)

It invented most of the stuff, and it licenses its patents to most everyone(some 30 companies at last count including LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung Electronics and Nokia ). It just wants Apple and HTC to pay up. I would recommend they do because having a nice friendly little Kodak license your patents is better than having
a competitor acquire kodak. Also the company is using the patents in its own products.

Kodak is desparate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664814)

Sounds like a last ditch effort to save themselves from bankruptcy . [dailyfinance.com]

mo3 kdown (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38664904)

Shithea3s. *BSD more gay sthan they

Good (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665144)

The more this escalates, the better the chance we'll get some meaningful reform.

The only way that anything's going to get made... (3, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665166)

... is to either tear down the patent system, or just allow monopolies/collusion.

Because otherwise, the way things are going, nobody will be able to manufacture anything given this circle of choke holds we seem to have.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?