Kodak Sues Apple, RIM - TheStreet

Kodak Sues Apple, RIM

Alleging patent infringement, Kodak is suing phone giants Apple and RIM.
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- Eastman Kodak (EK) is suing Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Research In Motion (RIMM) , alleging patent infringement of the camera giant's digital imaging technology.

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

embroiled

in a patent dispute with

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

, has not yet responded to

TheStreet's

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

Motorola

(MOT)

,

Sony Ericsson

(SNE) - Get Report

,

LG

and Nokia.

One of the suits filed against Apple has already been the subject of litigation between Kodak and

Sun

(JAVA)

. In 2004 a federal jury ruled that Sun's Java programming technology had infringed on patents related to Kodak's computer processes.

Kodak, which

unveiled a slew of new products at CES last week

, recently won a patent ruling against

Samsung

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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