Tuesday, 24th January 2012
Kodak files for bankruptcy and already there are talks around the true worth of the intellectual property (patents) holed up in this organisation. The expected jockeying of position for the patent portfolio from smartphone manufacturers and other technology companies may not be as frenzied as first thought.
Patent experts are not expecting fever pitch excitement and jostling, with the FT reporting questions around the quality and innovative nature of some of the patents that would be on offer. Kodak also has lawsuits against various technology companies such as Apple and HTC for patent infringement from 2011, with a very recent file against Samsung and its use in digital imaging patents.
An industry insider reported to the BBC that the end of the year always sees an upswing in legal activity between technology companies – due in part to the worldwide recession which is causing companies to adopt a more defensive approach of their ideas in a time of tight economics. Use your patent portfolio to muscle competition out of the market.
Recent activity on patent infringement includes the Spanish tablet maker NT-K against Apple, LG and Microsoft, Oracle and Google, Apple and Samsung, Microsoft and Motorola. The Economist notes that many of these disputes end with cross-licensing truces and that litigation is showing very little sign of subsiding – indeed it is business by other means.
Will there be no more Kodak moments – you press the button we do the rest? Hard to know at this moment, but with analysts reporting a much smaller or less innovative patent portfolio it could be the end of the line.
Whilst the big technologies companies are taking the defensive stance and using their portfolios to either flex muscle and cash in on the market, it seems some smaller technology companies are a little more relaxed.
PINTEREST, from a small but promising company say its users, is a tool for sharing content collected online. A user described it to me yesterday as a virtual pinboard. Interestingly when I investigated the company I discovered, via a trademark blog, that it has not been registered as yet with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Yes they are hardly the Kodak size and brand, yet it does seem strange that some young intellectual properties and innovation are not being protected. Be careful PINTEREST – the waters you are swimming in are dangerous.
Read Is Pinterest of interest to the info pro? on FUMSI >>
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