Kodak loses its patent

Kodak is one of those companies that tied their name to innovation and research. It’s saddening to know that its assets are being auctioned, and it’s even more saddening that a trademark so dear to a generation of amateur photographers is lost. This is not the best time for Kodak and, as if problems were not enough, it has taken a severe knock, since one of its most important patents (n. US6292218) has been revoked. This patent refers to the technology that allows the preview of the photo to be shown before taking and memorizing it.

Essentially the patent protected an image preview created through a particular technical procedure, as well as a series of accessory solutions. On the basis of this patent, in 2010 Kodak filed an appeal against Apple and RIM for forgery, who were accused of having used a system that totally matched the one under protection.

Recently, the judge Thomas Pender has nonetheless rejected the appeal from Kodak stating that not only the patent was not breached but that, which is worse, the same patent is not valid, since the method is obvious and not sufficiently innovative to deserve to be protected by a patent.

The decision surprised not just for the terrible result after eleven years from the registration date, but also because using that same patent, Kodak had already won over 30 appeals and made as many licence contracts. The company in general has therefore found itself at losing one of its most important assets, which Kodak had no doubt about its validity and that considered as one of the assets to be sold at a higher price during the auction. Suffice it to say that this patent made Kodak earn over 3 billion dollars from licences.Kodak has stated that will file an appeal but the fight is not going to be easy.