Various applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveal the fat that Apple has acquired a number of patents from Kodak. The iPhone maker is taking ownership of several patents describing aspects of digital photography.
The applications are related to the U.S. Patent numbers 8,432,479, 8,432,472, 8,432,456, and 8,432,461. These patents cover measurements of range using a zoom camera, displaying and sharing digital images and wireless sharing of digital images via a network.
The most likely is that Apple is trying to protect their iOS devices and Mac computers from litigations. Each device produces by the big Cupertino-based company features a build-in camera, which transforms the purchase for legal patents a need.
Kodak is quite an old-timer in the photography area, but will all changes that occur each day within the digital photography world is becoming even harder than before. The inventor of the digital camera finds it difficult to compete with other digital photography rivals. The 125-year old photography firm filed for bankruptcy in recent years and the sale of more than 1,000 digital photography-related patent holdings, was a hard thing to do.
Many other notable companies were eager to sign with Kodak in order to purchase its well-debated patents. In this way, Apple, Google and Microsoft were some of the largest names in the tech world eager to grab Kodak’s patents. Entire Kodak portfolio was sold for $525 million for a total of 12 licensees. Each one of these licensees received rights with respect to Kodak’s digital imaging patent portfolio and other intellectual property.
Besides Apple, Microsoft and Google, other notable groups are eager to access Kodak’s patents. Therefore, Facebook, Samsung, Adobe, Amazon, LG and HTC seek to purchase various Kodak patents for its personal use.
Despite the fact that Apple has sold most of its digital photography patents, the company will also retain rights to use the respective patents in its future business as will any subsidiaries Kodak spins off to put the company on its feet.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Kodak announced on Monday that the company would be spinning off its documents and personal imaging units to its British pension plan. In this way, British pensioners will gain control of the units, and they will bring in $650 million for Kodak, which might save the company from going bankrupt. The 15,000 British retirees “plan to establish a governance structure for the divisions, with the aim of forming them into a business that can generate enough funds to satisfy pension obligations”.