Kodak claims that Apple's iPhones and RIM's camera-enabled BlackBerry devices infringe on a patent related to previewing images.
In a statement released early on Thursday, Kodak said that it had filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The upstate New York company also filed two suits against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, claiming the infringement of patents related to digital cameras and "certain computer processes."
Apple, which is already
in a patent dispute with
, has not yet responded to
request for comment. In an email, a RIM spokesperson declined to comment.
Kodak, however, wants the world to know that it is gearing up for a battle.
"In the case of Apple and RIM, we've had discussions for years with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue amicably, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement," said Laura Quatela, Kodak's chief intellectual property officer, in the company's statement. "In light of that, we are taking this action to ensure that we protect the interests of our shareholders and the existing licensees of our technology."
Kodak has already licensed its digital imaging technology to about 30 firms, including
One of the suits filed against Apple has already been the subject of litigation between Kodak and
. In 2004 a federal jury ruled that Sun's Java programming technology had infringed on patents related to Kodak's computer processes.
, recently won a patent ruling against
related to color image preview.
"We remain open to negotiating a fair and amicable agreement with both Apple and RIM," said Quatela. "We seek to avoid litigation in our licensing programs whenever possible. But when the infringement is persistent, we will act to defend the interests of our shareholders and licensees."
Kodak shares rose 11 cents, or 2.23%, to $5.04 on Thursday, outpacing the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 0.31%.
-- Reported by James Rogers in New York
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