Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ), saying sales of some of its digital imaging patents may be disrupted, asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to investigate “the basis” of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s claims that it owns some of them.
“Whether as an infringer or a prospective purchaser of Kodak’s patents, Apple has an economic interest in depressing the value of these patents and disrupting the sale process,” Kodak’s lawyers said yesterday in a filing in U.S Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
Kodak wants Apple to produce a list of all Kodak patents it claims to own as well as documents and communications that support the ownership claims, according to the filing.
Apple on Feb. 14 sought bankruptcy court approval to sue Kodak over allegations it infringes patents for technology used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames. Apple previously claimed it is the true owner of the image preview patent that has been the subject of lawsuits.
The U.S. International Trade Commission rejected Apple’s ownership arguments in a case that’s still pending at the agency in Washington.
Apple has said it developed a digital camera in the early 1990s that it shared with Kodak, and that Kodak then sought the patent on the technology. Kodak has denied the allegations.
Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, didn’t immediately return voice-mail and e-mail messages after regular business hours yesterday seeking comment on Kodak’s filing.
Kodak (EKDKQ) filed for bankruptcy Jan. 19. The Rochester, New York-based company listed assets of $5.1 billion and debt of $6.8 billion in Chapter 11 documents.
The case is In re Eastman Kodak Co., 12-10202, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District New York (Manhattan).
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