updated 01:11 pm EDT, Tue April 30, 2013
Patents for image sharing, wireless camera networking pass to Apple
A number of patents owned by Kodak have been transferred into Apple's name, according to recent filings at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patents form part of Apple's haul from the photography firm, and covers a number of different camera-related actions, including the display and sharing of digital images, as well as sharing images over a network wirelessly.
The patent changes, found by Apple Insider, may be used by the company to help shore-up its patent portfolio, in order to protect itself further from litigation. Though Apple does not make a camera, it does use camera sensors in iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, and in some cases the patents could potentially open up new features for Apple devices. One patent mentions how a digital camera could attempt to transmit an image to an online service, such as Instagram, with the device retrying at a later time if a data connection is unavailable, something that could potentially be done with a smartphone.
The sale of patents by Kodak forms part of its attempts to become financially stable. It sold its patent portfolio to 12 licensees for $525 million at the end of last year, with each licensee receiving rights and Kodak retaining the ability for it and any subsidiaries to continue using them. The licensees list includes Apple, Adobe, Amazon, Facebook, HTC, Google, LG, Microsoft, and Samsung.
Kodak has also settled with the UK Kodak Pension Plan, its largest creditor. The agreement, settling approximately $2.8 billion in claims, involves the spin-off of Kodak's Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses. In exchange for this, Kodak is expecting to receive around $650 million in cash and other assets. The deal has been approved by the UK Pensions Regulator, but still has to be signed off by the US Bankruptcy Court.