Kodak seems to be transitioning from being one of the top technology companies, to being a mere patent troll. Kodak hasn’t been profitable since a long time, and has been on the verge of filing for bankruptcy since a couple of months now. Well, it has actually filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection now, to keep creditors at bay, while it makes some money by licensing patents from its vast patent portfolio to companies like Apple, HTC and Samsung.
We had earlier reported that Kodak had filed a patent lawsuit against Apple and HTC claiming infringement of five of its digital imaging patents. Today, Kodak filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung as well, using those same patents.
It seems likely that Kodak will be able to force these companies to license its patents, as it already has licensing agreements with LG, Motorola and Nokia for its digital imaging patents.
We expect patent licensing to become Kodak’s major, if not only, revenue stream in the coming years.
To jog your memory, here’s a list of the patents in question:
- U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 – “Electronic Camera For Initiating Capture of Still Images While Previewing Motion Images”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,210,161 – “Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Camera to a Service Provider Using a Network Configuration File”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,742,084 – “Network Configuration File for Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Still Camera”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,453,605 – “Capturing Digital Images to be Transferred to an E-Mail Address”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,936,391 – “Digital Camera with Communications Interface for Selectively Transmitting Images over a Cellular Phone Network and a Wireless LAN Network to a Destination”
Most of them are essential patents, which are in use by almost all smartphones with cameras. There is no way Samsung, HTC or Apple can dodge this bullet.