Kodak CEO to Apple: Give Us $1B for Camera Patents

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Despite an International Trade Commission preliminary ruling that Apple and RIM aren’t infringing on camera image preview patents Kodak owns, the camera maker is still hoping to pressure the companies into coughing up a billion dollars.

Kodak wants big money from AppleKodak wants some big money from Apple and RIM

The U.S. ITC is expected to announce before the end of the day on Friday, March 25, its final decision on whether or not it will uphold Judge Paul Luckern’s ruling from January that Apple and RIM aren’t infringing on Kodak’s patents, according to Bloomberg.

Kodak CEO Antonio Perez is keeping his fingers crossed hoping the ITC will toss aside the Judge’s ruling. “[Kodak] deserves to win,” he said.

The patents in question target the iPhone along with several Blackberry smartphone models.

Getting a reversal on the ruling would be a big deal for Kodak. According to Mr. Perez, his company relies on revenue from intellectual property licensing to make up for declining film sales, and to invest in its inkjet printer, packaging and software businesses.

“This is a lot of money, big money,” Mr. Perez added.

Apple and RIM have not commented on the case.

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As someone who lives only a mile from the once busting Kodak Park, I can tell you Kodak is desperate. The big shareholders are demanding the company be sold, the stock is in the toilet, and there aren’t that many more buildings to implode (waking me up on a Saturday morning). From a local perspective I hope they’re right and get the dough, but Kodak management screwed up so badly in the 80s and 90s that they kind of deserve it. They did invent a lot of this stuff, but were so afraid of harming their cash cow, they screwed themselves out of their future. I’m sure George is spinning in his grave…

Lee Dronick

I hadn’t paid much attention to them in a long time and didn’t notice that they had changed their logo.


They did invent a lot of this stuff, but were so afraid of harming their cash cow, they screwed themselves out of their future

Kind of like Xerox?

Either embrace the future, or be devoured by it.


Yep. Like Xerox. Unfortunately they are based here too. Talk about a metro area getting punished by short-sighted CEOs. I’m sure Perez will bail clinging to his golden parachute just before Kodak gets sold or goes under. I hope George haunts the hell out of whoever buys Kodak; they buried him on Kodak property against his wishes.


On the first Eclipse trip we took to Aruba in ‘98 everyone had a bunch of film cameras. One guy had a heavy tripod with a strut to hold 5 parallel Nikon and Canon rigs with autowinders. Totality was a din of shutters going off. A month after the trip a small group of us got together at the Minneapolis Planetarium to hand prints around.

The last eclipse trip I went to was in ‘09. At totality, a couple thousand people were all over the deck of the ship and exactly one person was still using film. Everyone else was shooting digital. We were located a hundred miles north of Iwo Jima and the first pictures appeared on the web WHILE THE ECLIPSE WAS STILL GOING ON.

Part of me slams Kodak for screwing up so badly. But part of me also can see how they could have been blindsided by the revolution. I know I’m stunned by how fast the technology has changed.


Right. It seemed to shift so quickly that if you weren’t out ahead of it, and actually doing the leading, it was too late. Right now they have a NJ company that is trying to produce thin film solar cells interested in locating their manufacturing here because of all of the film equipment sitting around doing nothing. I hope they manage more of these kind of shifts instead of begging for money over something they screwed up two decades ago.

Lee Dronick

Part of me slams Kodak for screwing up so badly. But part of me also can see how they could have been blindsided by the revolution. I know I?m stunned by how fast the technology has changed.

My first “real” digital camera was a Kodak. I still have it and it wasn’t a bad camera for its time. However, the controls for changing shutter speed and such are flakey; I suppose the switch contacts are corroded or something. It still works as a point and shoot camera. I said “real” because my first digital camera was this dongle thing that came with my Sprint cell phone, it plugged into the phone’s dock. Talk about all but useless and difficult to use.

About ten years ago I sold my darkroom equipment. I miss that experience, I have fond memories of working mostly in the dark. I still have my Minolta SLRs and every once in a while take them out and hold them, but I haven’t used them in a very long time.

Yeah, Kodak blew it.


It really is sad. At one point they were actually out in front with pro DSLRs.

Our studio bought the original DCS Pro SLR/n back in 2004 and it remains to this day an incredible workhorse. A 14MP full-frame sensor we use tethered. They actually gutted Nikon N80s to build them.

At the time only Canon of the big players had anything else going on with the 1Ds mkII.

They really had a shot, I believe, with how good their DSP technology was but they just kind of got lost.


I find it interesting that Kodak’s (EK NYSE) market cap is only $1B, the same amount they want to sue Apple for. Why doesn’t Apple simply buy out Kodak, keep whatever IP they find and either spin off what’s left or close the doors? Kodak doesn’t really compete with Apple, except for some old patents that cover generic functions that every camera and camera product uses. Apple could be generous and change the patents to be available for free to everyone.

Apple is required to try and patent everything they can for the very reason Kodak is suing them, to protect their company against lawsuits. I’m not against patenting truly revolutionary ideas but a company should have to patent the obvious.


kodak still is a leader in digital sensor technology, particularly for larger sensors for medium format cameras.

However they blew it with not seeing the downsizing that would be required as film was foolishly transitioned wholesale for digital. If they had built production lines to handle smaller volume, they would have been ok. They could have kept products being produced at smaller quantities and still been viable in that market, while also getting more into digital. As it is , they can’t sustain the volume needed by the big production lines, so they have to scrap them (to wit: Kodachrome, all their B&W paper, many films, cut sheet color RA4 paper, etc.). That’s a non-winning strategy.

Perez is being a patent whore, no doubt, and is a wanker for doing so. Any patent awards would be one-time bandaids on their gigantic problems and wouldn’t help them long-term.

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