updated 04:30 pm EST, Thu March 8, 2012
Apple can't resume Kodak lawsuits for now
Kodak was successful on Thursday in preventing Apple from resuming patent lawsuits. Bankruptcy court judge Allan Gropper deemed it "inappropriate" for Apple to either resume its lawsuit against Kodak, or to try and sue again, during the one-time camera legend's bankruptcy process. Judge Gropper was willing to have a quick resolution during bankruptcy, but he wanted a method that "truly works" rather than simply resuming an extant case.
Apple's request was possibly considered creditor harassment as an attempt to get money at a point when Kodak wasn't in a position to pay those with a stake in its health.
Any lawsuits were automatically frozen as part of Kodak's bankruptcy, in which it secured $950 million in loans to help reorganize and develop a profitable business. Aside from not wanting Kodak to use the bankruptcy as a shelter, Apple has been hoping to challenge ownership of technology, putting Kodak's loan into doubt in a way likely meant to accelerate a settlement.
Kodak entered into bankruptcy both out of its initial reluctance to adapt to digital cameras as well as its own failed patent strategy. After deciding that it couldn't compete solely on products, Kodak for a time decided on using patent royalties and threatened lawsuits as major sources of income, either suing or making deals with phone makers over technology it claimed to own. It wanted at one point to make $1 billion from Apple and RIM just last year. Delays and rejections compounded its situation and led it to eventually look at selling patents, including those at the heart of its Apple dispute. [via Reuters]