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Apple wants to file patent lawsuit against Kodak, fully aware that Kodak's bankrupt

Amar Toor, @amartoo
02.15.12
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Poor Kodak just can't catch a break these days. Nearly a month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and mere days after shuttering its digital camera business, the sputtering company now finds itself the target of no less a behemoth than Apple. Yesterday, Cupertino's legal team asked a US Bankruptcy Court for permission to go after Kodak on two legal fronts: with a patent infringement lawsuit in a Manhattan district court, and a corollary complaint in the ITC. According to Bloomberg, Apple's patent suit focuses on technologies that Kodak uses in its line of digital cameras, printers and digital picture frames. Unfortunately for Kodak, printers are one of the product areas it recently decided to focus on, as confirmed in last week's restructuring announcement. Salt, meet wound.

These two companies, of course, have been involved in an ongoing ITC battle over Kodak's image transfer technology, with the latest salvo coming last month, when the camera company launched a fresh batch of litigation against both Apple and HTC. If the bankruptcy court grants Apple's request, the company will head straight to court, in the hopes of obtaining a block against Kodak's allegedly infringing products. Kodak, meanwhile, could file a request to hold off the district level case until the ITC ruling comes through, though Apple said yesterday that it would press forward, regardless. The company was also quick to point out that it's not legally bound to request permission to sue a court-protected bankrupt company, but did so "out of an abundance of caution," which is really considerate, if you think about it.

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