Things are getting heated in Kodak's patent battle with Apple. In a recent court filing noticed by Total Telecom, Kodak accused the Cupertino company of trying to interfere in its upcoming patent auction in order to avoid paying US$1 billion in penalties and royalty fees.
According to the court document, Kodak says Apple shouldn't be allowed to claim ownership of a key Kodak imaging patent that describes a method of previewing a photo on an LCD. Kodak argues that the International Trade Commission and a US District Court have denied Apple's ownership claims. Apple, however, continues to assert that Kodak misappropriated its technology to get the patent.
If Apple's ownership is upheld, then the company would not have to pay royalties or any infringement penalties to Kodak. It would also prevent Kodak from paying off its creditors by selling this valuable patent in an auction.
Kodak asked the bankruptcy judge to consider this matter during a hearing scheduled for June 14. This would give the court a few weeks to make a decision before Kodak must file its patent auction rules and timeline with the bankruptcy court. Needless to say, Kodak's patent auction would go smoother if there wasn't an Apple ownership claim on one of the company's most important patents.