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  1. #11

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    (the "218" patent)

    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    But it is nearing expiring date.
    Yeah, that's true, but the smartphone companies couldn't possibly have waited for it to expire while letting their competitors go to market with better camera features. Played right, I think it should have been good for a big one-time licensing windfall for the purchaser, except for that little problem of being deemed invalid. (And I haven't looked at that court decision, so I have no idea what a healthy company's prospects would have been for recovering from it.)

    The really nice thing is that it would be a competitively-necessary license, but not a standardized or regulatory-required one; no one says you *have* to have a camera with live preview in your phone. That quite possibly means that they could have licensed it without being restricted to the usual "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" terms: You want to make a competitive phone now and keep up with the market? You gotta play our game! It looks to me like a pretty big opportunity that was missed because of the collapse of that patent.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #12
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    They had no more leverage. Their time was run out and everyone understood this was a desperation move on Kodak's part to rescue the company. Just stand back and wait. Kodak HAD to sell. No one else HAD to buy.
    Dan

    The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    Not only was their timing off, they put all their eggs in one basket. And what about their back up plan? Apparently, they had none. What I find amazing is that having did so many things right for so long, they suddenly became stupid. Top management has all the blame.
    Around about 1980 they ignored a Polariod patent until the case went to Congress then they bought all the paper weight cameras back at retail...

    so many things wrong...

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
    Around about 1980 they ignored a Polariod patent until the case went to Congress then they bought all the paper weight cameras back at retail...

    so many things wrong...
    Kodak used a different method which they believed did not violate Polaroid's patent.
    Polaroid's initial complaint was in 1976, and the final award came in 1990.

    BTW, "cases" do not go to Congress. They go to the courts- a separate branch of government.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    Kodak used a different method which they believed did not violate Polaroid's patent.
    Polaroid's initial complaint was in 1976, and the final award came in 1990.

    BTW, "cases" do not go to Congress. They go to the courts- a separate branch of government.
    Well I thought they went to court by 80 or 81 and Kodak were buying back cameras in 86-87. But memory is fallible, I still had a stash of film in 87 so I kept the camera. Buying back cameras retail was expensive enough and the final damages for Polariod large.

    They were found guilty of more than one violation of more than one patent, although all the Kodak chemistry was different.

    I thought that one of the violations was automatic ejection of a print...

    Kodak could have made film packs like Fuji. Indeed they had made lots of things for Polariod.

    I think the Ja operate a photo patent pool instead of funding lawyers.

    I know it was settled in the Fed's appeal court, I thought it made it to congress discussionsll as well?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    They had no more leverage. Their time was run out and everyone understood this was a desperation move on Kodak's part to rescue the company. Just stand back and wait. Kodak HAD to sell. No one else HAD to buy.
    That's the key.

    A patent is, by definition, a wasting asset. In a lot of ways, its only as good as the financial strength behind it.
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  7. #17
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    On the instant cameras, Kodak would refund the purchase price or you could get a top of the line regular Kodak 35mm camera as a replacement or one share of Kodak stock. So 25 years later, what was the best option?

    The technology was not the same and the patent attorneys at EK were pretty good at vetting an application. IIRC, the infringement decision did not turn on the technical merits of the product. It was more about the idea of instant photography.
    All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

  8. #18

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    Kodak was (is) just a company caught between the squeeze of digital on one side, and the 2008 crash on the other. That's my take on it. As an offset printer I am in the same jam. It happens, Sometime with an "sh" on the front of that expression. If you want to assign reason or blame, about the only thing that could be said is that they were not looking deep enough into the crystal ball.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb3lms View Post
    The technology was not the same and the patent attorneys at EK were pretty good at vetting an application. IIRC, the infringement decision did not turn on the technical merits of the product. It was more about the idea of instant photography.

    The technology was completely different (and still lives on in the Fuji Instax product). The case was decided by a female judge in Boston who had no understanding of the technology and decided the issue on the basis of a 'concept patent' approach - 'instant photography'.

    (I worked on the Kodak Instant System from 1976 to 1983.)

    A settlement had been worked out between Kodak and Polaroid management, but Eddie Land wouldn't accept it because he took it as a personal affront that Kodak dared to enter 'his business'.
    Last edited by Prof_Pixel; 03-03-2014 at 08:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof_Pixel View Post
    ...The case was decided by a female judge in Boston who had no understanding of the technology...
    And the judge's gender had exactly what to do with this?

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