Talk about kicking a company while it’s trying to get back off the ground. On January 19, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Shortly after the announcement, they backed out of the digital camera field, a technology they invented and failed to commercialize. In their Chapter 11 Documents they listed assets of 5.1 billion dollars and a debt of 6.8 billion. In order to stay somewhat profitable, Kodak restructured their company so they could focus on digital printers as their main form of income, but out of the blue, Apple hits them a patent law suit.
Apple asked a US Bankruptcy Court for permission to go after Kodak. Which is actually kind of nice since they are not legally bound to request permission to sue a court-protected bankrupt company.
According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit focuses on technologies that Kodak uses in their printers, digital picture frames, and digital cameras. I can only imagine the frustration that the Kodak executives are feeling right now, immediately after finding a way out of full bankruptcy, Apple comes along and tells them “Yea, that rope you grabbed onto before falling of the ledge? We own it, and were going to cut it.”
Instead of Apple trying to take down Kodak, they should try to find an agreement where both can profit, imagine the different types of products they could come up with? I thought the point of being in the tech business was to develop newer and better technologies… not come up with ideas and storing them away until someone develops them, and then take them to court for beating you to it.
When I buy a product, I buy it because it’s going to make my life easier. I understand the importance of protecting your patented technologies, but at the same time, I think companies should share their technologies with other companies so they can develop better working products for everyone. Imagine if Apple had a patent for cellphones, and Samsung had a patent for LCDs? An iPhone would never exist without massive lawsuits – think about all the other products that need a specific part of technology to be finished but we have to wait on “legal terms.”
I miss the older days where technologies and products were made in factories instead of court rooms.