California patent infringement lawyers expect Kodak’s bankruptcy filing to be further complicated by a hostile patent infringement dispute with Apple.
Kodak has accused Apple of infringing on its patents, but last week Apple shot back by alleging that the patents were the property of Apple. According to Apple, back in the 90s, the two companies had collaborated to explore how they could work together on several projects. One of the projects had to do with the commercialization of digital cameras manufactured by Apple.
Apple says that during this period of time, it disclosed a number of confidential technologies to Kodak. Apple insists that at that time, Kodak had agreed to a nondisclosure agreement under which the company agreed that any changes made to the technologies would remain the property of Apple. Therefore, Apple insists that the patents involved in the dispute actually belong to it.
Apple says that in 2010, it became aware that Kodak had misappropriated the digital technology, and filed a lawsuit against the company that year. That case is still ongoing. After Kodak filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, one of the hassles facing bankruptcy lawyers was the billions of dollars worth of patents that were now in dispute.
According to Apple, Kodak has used some of those patents to generate approximately $3 billion in licensing revenues. Apple wants Kodak to hand over all or part of the substantial licensing revenues that Kodak gained from that patent.
Apple has also asked the bankruptcy court to ensure that no security interests or liens will be attached to Apple’s patents during Kodak’s bankruptcy proceedings. Kodak is waiting to borrow $700 million in a loan that needs to be approved by a bankruptcy judge. Apple does not want Kodak granting security interests or liens on patents that the company does not own.