It seems that in the courts, Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), is not entirely invincible. The juggernaut that is Apple, Inc., was given a partial setback Thursday when U.S. bankruptcy judge Allan Gropper awarded Eastman Kodak two of 10 patents that Apple had disputed during Kodak's bankruptcy process. With these two patents, Kodak can now sell those as part of the company's restructuring plan.
In his summary judgment, Gropper said that Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had taken too long to file its claims for the patents in Question. The excessive time, Gropper said, would have adversely affected Kodak's impending auction, set for Wednesday. As Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection in January with the intent to sell 1,000 patents relating to capturing and storing digital images. Apple lay claim to 10 of the patents, and Kodak sued Apple for its disruption of the process.
“If Apple’s claims proceed despite their unreasonably delayed commencement, Kodak might have to go back to the drawing board for ways to fund its case,” Gropper wrote.
However, Gropper did not grant summary judgment on the other eight patents, but said he could consider a new request later if Kodak established a “a more complete record.” Those are still under dispute for the time being, and likely will not be included in the upcoming auction.
Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Flashpoint Technology both were seeking claims on the two patents in question, but Gropper not only denied both on those, but also denied Flashpoint's claims on three other patents.
Kodak spokeswoman Stefanie Goodsell said in a statement, “With respect to several other patents to which Apple and Flashpoint only recently asserted ownership claims, Kodak believes that the facts will show that they are baseless, and nothing but an attempt to interfere with the sale of our patent portfolio.”