It’s bad form to kick a man while he’s down. It’s even worse form to sue a company while their filing for bankruptcy.
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is requesting approval to file a lawsuit against Kodak, the beleaguered camera company that filed for bankruptcy last month. Apple alleges that Kodak is infringing on their patents that cover printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames.
Apple intends to file a complaint against Kodak with the ITC and pursue a lawsuit against the company at the U.S. District Court of Manhattan. The suit will seek an injunction against Kodak’s supposed infringement.
Kodak has the right to ask the court to halt any lawsuits brought against them under bankruptcy protection, but Apple can move ahead with its lawsuit if the court does not make a ruling. Essentially, it means that Apple can sue Kodak while they are waiting to hear back from a judge on whether they can be sued or not.
Kodak and Apple are currently involved in another legal dispute over technology ownership. Apple claims to have shown a Kodak a digital camera in the 1990s that Kodak proceeded to then patent.
Kodak isn’t innocent in all of this either as they filed a patent-infringement complaint against Apple and HTC last month. Apple told the ITC that Kodak’s complaint was baseless as they would be selling off their patents anyway as part of the bankruptcy process.
Kodak fired back saying that their bankruptcy doesn’t change the fact that they are investing in new technologies and inventions. The ITC is scheduled to make a decision by February 23 on whether or not they are going to investigate Kodak’s claims.
At this point, both companies should just make up. Kodak has a lot to offer Apple and Apple can help Kodak out of its mess. It would be a win-win, but unfortunately, it does not appear that things will turn out that smoothly.