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US ITC May Reverse Judge's Ruling In Kodak vs. Apple 101

Posted by Soulskill
from the fundamentalist-patent-holders dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Going after Apple and RIM, Kodak says, 'every digital camera and phone with a camera' infringes on its patents. A judge sided against Kodak in January, but now the US International Trade Commission has agreed to review the judge's decision. With the ITC's ability to block imports, Apple and RIM may have no choice but to fork over dough to Kodak in the event of an unfavorable decision. If the ITC can toss out court decisions like this, one wonders how much hope there is for patent reform. The patent in question is Patent Number 6292218: 'Electronic camera for initiating capture of still images while previewing motion images.'"
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US ITC May Reverse Judge's Ruling In Kodak vs. Apple

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  • ...the Judge's decision. I thought only an Appeals Court can do that, not an AGENCY of the Administration.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      ...the Judge's decision. I thought only an Appeals Court can do that, not an AGENCY of the Administration.

      In today's America jurisdictions and authority seem to be dynamically defined ... once again IT methodology has creeped beyond its scope.

    • by Nailer235 (1822054) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @10:42AM (#35622016)

      ...the Judge's decision. I thought only an Appeals Court can do that, not an AGENCY of the Administration.

      FTA: "ITC Judge Paul Luckern on Jan. 24 agreed with the companies on both issues." The first judge was a judge on the ITC. Essentially we have a judge reviewing his own court's decision. It's not like the ITC is trying to reverse a federal Court of Appeals or something along those lines.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        I can not lay my hand on any part of the Union Constitution which gives the Executive branch power to act like the Judicial branch. Perhaps I don't understand the "ITC"'s location within the government, but it appears to me to be an unconstitutional organization.

        As for the patent:
        People at my Computer Users Group were taking digital photos with Commodore Amigas as early as 1985. I still have several of them stored away. That would be considered "prior art" right? So the patent should be invalidated.

        • by digitig (1056110)
          No, because the patent isn't for taking digital photos.
          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            "Electronic camera for initiating capture of still images while previewing motion images.'"

            Sounds exactly the same as what my Amiga-owning colleagues were doing in 1985, 86, 87, et cetera.

            • by digitig (1056110) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @11:33AM (#35622362)
              Try actually reading the patent to find out what is actually patented. The title doesn't tell the whole story. Ever.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              I remember something else; it was at a mall in the late 70s if I remember correctly, or maybe very early eighties, where someone used a *video camera* hooked up to a control monitor where you saw the image in real time and a device that printed the image on a line printer when he pressed the button.

            • It only applies to single CCD color sensors using a color mosiac. I would presume all 3 CCD cameras are not covered.
              (a) an image sensor having a two-dimensional array of photosites covered by a mosaic pattern of color filters including at least three different colors for capturing images of a scene, each captured image having a first number of color pixel values provided in a first color pattern;

              • by jpapon (1877296)
                This is actually a significant change, assuming live demosaicing of images hadn't been done before.
              • by jaseuk (217780)

                Not sure exactly how to read a patent, but one of the claims refers to a "removable memory card".

                That looks fine for Apple then.

                Jason.

              • by Joce640k (829181)

                It only applies to single CCD color sensors using a color mosiac. I would presume all 3 CCD cameras are not covered.

                ...and this is a perfect example of all that's wrong with the patent system. Patents are supposed to be "non-obvious". Doing it in color instead of black-and-white is about engineering, not imagination.

        • by Grond (15515) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @11:59AM (#35622560) Homepage

          I can not lay my hand on any part of the Union Constitution which gives the Executive branch power to act like the Judicial branch. Perhaps I don't understand the "ITC"'s location within the government, but it appears to me to be an unconstitutional organization.

          The ITC is an Article I court [wikipedia.org] or "legislative court," so-called because they are created by an act of Congress. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the constitutionality of Article I courts, at least when certain constraints are in place (e.g. their rulings must be reviewable by a regular Article III court). "[I]t long has been settled that Article 3 does not express the full authority of Congress to create courts, and that other articles invest Congress with powers in the exertion of which it may create inferior courts and clothe them with functions deemed essential or helpful in carrying those powers into execution." Ex parte Bakelite Corp., 279 U.S. 438 (1929). "Article III does not confer on litigants an absolute right to the plenary consideration of every nature of claim by an Article III court." Commodity Futures Trading Com'n v. Schor, 478 U.S. 833 (1986). Assigning limited adjudicatory functions to Article I courts is "consistent with Art. III, so long as the essential attributes of the judicial power are retained in the Art. III court, and so long as Congress' adjustment of the traditional manner of adjudication can be sufficiently linked to its legislative power to define substantive rights." Northern Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 US 50 (1982).

          There are tons of Article I courts, including the ITC, Bankruptcy Courts, Tax Courts, courts-martial, the Patent Office's Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Decisions of the ITC are reviewable by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and from there the US Supreme Court.

          • by jd (1658)

            Damn, the computer mis-moderated, so I'm going to have to cancel the mod with a post. That's a brilliant overview!

        • I am not supporting the basis of the authority-
          I'm just pointing out the relevant section/basis for argument.

          There are sections of our constitution which equivocate international treaties and the constitution

          the absoluteness of such equality is debated, usually towards whatever point of view the debater wants to take.

          BUT, a treaty signed into international law, where the US part of fulfilling the terms of the treaty is handed to the executive branch- which then creates an agency to upkeep the mandate.

          coul

        • Patent filing date has nothing to do with it, we have 'first to invent' rules
          (so happy or not- that is the current law- gotta live with it for now)

          so if Kodak can prove they did it before someone else-- they win for first to invent

          BTW, I readily found a website
          http://www.retrothing.com/2008/05/kodaks-first-di.html [retrothing.com]
          indicating kodak first met the conditions of the patent in 1975

          "The device was semi-portable, and a massive VCR-sized microcomputer was used to display the images on a TV screen using a primitiv

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          I can not lay my hand on any part of the Union Constitution which gives the Executive branch power to act like the Judicial branch.

          The executive branch has people that may be called "judges" or "magistrates" or "arbitrators" -- they use them all the time to decide if people are entitled to certain Social Security benefits, Section 8 housing, certain tax regimes, etc. but they are not "judges" in the sense of the federal Constitution, because they are not presiding over an "Article 3 Tribunal."

        • I can not lay my hand on any part of the Union Constitution which gives the Executive branch power to act like the Judicial branch.

          The ITC can't act like a judicial court. All the ITC can do is block the import of specific products. An ITC ruling can't award damages or send anyone to prison (not that the ITC would have anything to do with criminal cases anyway). A judge in a federal court will take into account an ITC decision for the same parties for the same patents, so the side that wins in the ITC is more likely to win in federal court, but it's certainly not a requirement.

      • Luckern is an administrative law judge. They are the sort of judges who review and administer federal regulations to take the load off of the federal judiciary, like tax and bankruptcy and immigration courts (and kill the taxpayer with redundancy). Ad law judges are known as "Article I judges," as opposed to Article III judges in the judiciary. Kind of a misnomer, since Article I of the Constitution never actually mentions judges.

        Anyway, my understanding is that the IT Commission itself - not judges, but
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450)

      Read the original article on bloomberg.com. It says

      Apple and RIM denied infringing the patent and argued it was invalid. ITC Judge Paul Luckern on Jan. 24 agreed with the companies on both issues.

      So it seems that the "ruling" was just an earlier finding of the same agency (and the Slashdot summary was misleading). Maybe Apple and RIM need to sue in regular court, then your question would apply.

      • by russotto (537200)

        Maybe Apple and RIM need to sue in regular court, then your question would apply.

        Regular courts are too slow; by the time the final decision comes down it's moot or nearly so. So everything is effectively decided in the preliminary stages, whether via an ITC order to stop imports, or a TRO, or whatever. Once you've blocked the other guy's product, you just drag out the regular court proceedings until they cry uncle.

      • by lennier1 (264730)

        Doing "Thing A" in the background while showing "Thing B" to the observer?

        I think politicians have Prior Art on that one!

      • by mkiwi (585287)

        So it seems that the "ruling" was just an earlier finding of the same agency (and the Slashdot summary was wrong)

        FTFT (Fixed that for them)

    • by DRJlaw (946416) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @10:57AM (#35622134)

      [Uh... Exactly HOW can they "throw out"...] the Judge's decision. I thought only an Appeals Court can do that, not an AGENCY of the Administration.

      Because there is a mile of difference between an administrative law judge and an Article III Federal judge. One is an employee of the agency involved, essentially an "Article I" judge that is a member of the Executive branch. The other is a member of the Judicial branch. One is used within an agency to determine the agency's position on an issue. The other has the power to review agency decisions and to overturn them. The linked article is describing an internal appeal process within the agency prior to the agency developing a 'final' agency position.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We "throw out" the Constitution YEARS ago.... that is how.

  • Clueless reporting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @11:04AM (#35622172)
    As usual. The ITC doesn't decide whether there is patent infringement, they decide whether there is enough evidence of patent infringement so that a company should be stopped from importing things into the USA to stop them from infringing on patents. So they should only stop the most obvious cases. The patent dispute goes to court anyway, and if the ITC had stopped Apple from importing iPhones into the USA, and then it turned out that actually Apple hadn't infringed on any patents, then that would be some major problem.

    And of course Kodak can ask the ITC to reconsider its decision. So they will look at the exact same evidence again. Now I don't know what the rules are for a decision of the ITC, but in a court judgement the ruling would only be changed if the first judge had made blatant errors. I'd think that is unlikely to happen.
  • Wait.. what? What about prior art? How is this even a patent? I was using an electronic system to capture still images while previewing a motion image back in the early 90's. In fact, I made a still image "movie" of just such a thing of part of "Harlem Knights." It was a black and white, low resolution digitizer, but it still is the same principal.

    I forget what the brand/name of the device was, but I was using it for a myriad of things back in 1990 or 1991 at the latest. That right there should invali

    • by bmo (77928)

      Video Toaster.

      On the Amiga.

      --
      BMO

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        believe it or not there were other devices that could capture video other than a multi thousand dollar semi pro media setup

      • by d6 (1944790)
        Kodak's R&D stuff predates the toaster by about 15 years.
    • by digitig (1056110)
      That's only prior art if you did it in the way that Kodak patented.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        And, likewise, it is only infringement if you did it the same way.

        They were using CCDs in astronomy before we had digital cameras.

        As a company, Kodak seems to have been reduced to purveyors of cheap and low quality consumer goods. I hope they don't get to go around messing with digital photography as a whole.

        • by ZosX (517789)

          Kodak makes all kinds of high end sensors that end up in other cameras. Just because their consumer grade stuff is crap doesn't mean that they are important leaders in the industry in other areas. They still make all sorts of photographic equipment that you just don't see or it is included in stuff you do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by east coast (590680)
      So you're claiming that any system caught a still image on any device and could preview said picture while viewing a video feed should automatically invalidate the Kodak claim? I just want to back this up with asking if you looked over the specifics of the patent... They're not really the same thing. Kodak's system does what your system does, yes. But Kodak's system takes it further with specifics that were doubtlessly lacking in your video production unit of 1990. Note language like "single integrated circ
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How does making it a single integrated circuit pass the obviousness test?

        Personally, and patent that is just another, prior, patent where the words "on or with a [computer|network|integrated circuit]" tacked on the end should be thrown out as obvious, because that doesn't fulfill the original purposes of the patent system but these days I guess that's just me.

        • Odd. I always thought that a specific process done by specific hardware qualified as a patent. But since you obviously have no interest in expounding on your claims I guess there isn't much to discuss.
          • by NitroWolf (72977) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @12:10PM (#35622658)

            Odd. I always thought that a specific process done by specific hardware qualified as a patent. But since you obviously have no interest in expounding on your claims I guess there isn't much to discuss.

            You have always thought wrong then. Just because a specific process is done on new hardware doesn't mean it's not *still the same process*. If that were the case, then you could say since I have this piece of software that runs on ARM and the same software that runs on x86, there should be two different patents. That's not the case, otherwise Java and any interpreted language would have a major problem.

            The problem with Kodak's patent in this particular instance is almost every part of the patent has prior art. There may be a couple line items that don't have prior art, but you can't patent a multi-line patent based off of only one or two changes... because again, I could twiddle a few things in how an iPhone works and then start selling an iPhone. Apple would probably have a problem with this.

            A patent has to be *significantly* new/different to be a new patent. In Kodaks case with this patent, it's not significantly new or different than existing products.

            • Actually, you couldn't in Apple's case given both the software and the doubtless proprietary hardware. You're not seeing my statement as inclusive where it fits your needs but otherwise you do. This is the kind of Slashdot bickering that muddies the water.

              And I thought that software was covered as copyright while the processes were covered as patents.
            • You say that "almost every part of the patent has prior art". That's already an admission of non-anticipation, and very close to an admission of non-obviousness. You most definitely can patent a multi-line patent based off of only one or two changes. The differences between the claimed invention and the prior art merely have to be non-obvious. The law says nothing about the changes not appearing to be tiny.

              Just because you twiddle one or two features of a patented product and get a patent yourself doesn

        • by kanweg (771128)

          Correct. And also, the single integrated circuit is in claim 3, so not having it doesn't mean that the main claim may be invalid.

          Bert

      • by NitroWolf (72977)

        So you're claiming that any system caught a still image on any device and could preview said picture while viewing a video feed should automatically invalidate the Kodak claim?

        Whether or not it should can be set aside in this instance, because Kodak is claiming that cell phones violate the patent. The fact that I have used a system that does essentially the *exact* same thing in 1990, 7 years prior to Kodak filing for a patent, invalidates the claim Kodak is making. I suppose if you wanted to quibble, the difference would be the phones capture and display in color while the system I was using did it in greyscale.

        If I took one of the phones that Kodak is complaining about back t

        • The fact that I have used a system that does essentially the *exact* same thing in 1990, 7 years prior to Kodak filing for a patent, invalidates the claim Kodak is making.

          Yeah, and the Wright brothers flew a plane who's basic design is based on the same aeronautic principals that are still used to this day. I guess Boeing and AirBus should just hang it up and realize that their patents are bunk.

          Whether or not it should can be set aside in this instance

          No, it can't be set aside because by your standar
  • Before digital cameras, that was known as a "viewfinder": capture a still image while previewing the world through a tiny little window. Die in a fire, Kodak. You used to be great, but you've completely SCO'ed your reputation.

    • by d6 (1944790)
      I can't see Kodak and SCO in the same light. wallowing and desperate for cash mebbe, but not SCO.
      Kodak isn't trying to sue the community at large. Big difference to me.

      (and no, I don't own any Kodak product or Kodak stock)
      • by WNight (23683)

        Neither was SCO - they threatened the community at large but really just sued a few companies. SCO wanted to be paid up front, Kodak just wants everything you buy to cost more.

        In the end they both want the same thing, to be unjustifiably enriched by you without having anything to do with you or the technology you use.

    • by westlake (615356)

      Before digital cameras, that was known as a "viewfinder": capture a still image while previewing the world through a tiny little window.

      The viewfinder didn't "capture" or "still" anything.

      • by gottabeme (590848)

        Stop trolling. The functionality is the same. Their patent is merely an electronic version of a viewfinder. It's extremely obvious, and it's trivial. Kodak should be ashamed of patenting it, and extremely ashamed of suing anyone over it. When a company becomes evil like this, it ought to fail.

        Of course, by this definition of evil, almost every major tech company ought to fail. :( What a sad age.

    • by gilesjuk (604902)

      Makes you wonder why they're going after phone companies? I guess it is because if Kodak sued Canon or Nikon then they would have plenty of camera patents to fire back with. So they go after phone and computer makers instead.

  • I'm just waiting for my patent on blinking and metabolizing oxygen to go through. Muh ha ha ha.

  • I skimmed the patent 6292218 that was filed in 1997 and it might not be applicable to current cameras. It describes a camera with "a removable memory card", which many devices like iphone and ipad don't have. It also describes two separate processors, one for previews and one for the captured picture, and also a multiplexer that the display uses to select which image to display. I suspect current cameras don't have true separate "processors", rather just a flag in firmware to decide what to do. However,
    • by Tacvek (948259)

      Unfortunately, Claim 1 of the patent is very broad, and requires none of those things.

      It covers any digital camera that uses a sensor in the format of a grid, with color filters for at least three colors,
      and which has a color display where the pixel color pattern of the display does not match the pixel color pattern on the sensor,
      where the display can show live previews of what the sensor shows, and where the display does not show full raw-sized images,
      and where the camera saves images in a format other tha

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So what about Foveon X3 image sensor then? (No colour filters needed)

        • That is incorrect. There two layers are, in addition to being sensor sites, also color filters.

          • by Tacvek (948259)

            Nevertheless, I somewhat simplified the requirements, and I'm not entirely sure that a Foveon X3 based camera would fall under claim 1.

            • by GhostX9 (1525571)
              It doesn't apply to Foveon because the patent is about the way in which you take line skipped data from the CCD in a specific manner to maintain your Bayer-filter.
        • by cvtan (752695)
          So how's that Foveon stock you bought working out for you. Last press release on their web site is from 2008.
      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday March 26, 2011 @01:09PM (#35623066) Homepage Journal

        Yep. This is why I've said before that the simplest and easiest patent reform would be a rule saying that if any claim in a patent is found to be invalid, then the whole patent is invalid. It wouldn't prevent all patent trolling, of course, but it would provide a powerful incentive for patent holders not to sue over "infringements" that are clearly nothing of the sort in any reasonable person's eyes. Over the long term, it would produce patents for actual specific inventions rather than "hey, I've got a neat idea, let's patent it and sue anyone who does something vaguely similar."

        • by WNight (23683)

          That would be the smallest change that would produce some good, but best would be to rip the patent system out entirely and simply replace it with a series of grants based on the actual usage of your technology over the last while. If people referenced Kodak and engineers logged 'Used Kodak system, saved many months' then auditors would find this and Kodak would get a share of the pot based on the money their idea has made/saved everyone else. The pot would be funded with the current patent-office's funding

      • by Kosi (589267)

        All color digital cameras that show live previews on a screen, and can save images in a format other than RAW.

        Maybe that will bring RAW to the less expensive cameras, which would be a good thing for the customers. I always disliked that if you want to have RAW, you often have to buy a much "bigger" camera than you'd really need. After all, RAW is not an extra feature where they have to implement extra code in the firmware, like is is with the ability to save pictures in JPG.

      • by ThosLives (686517)

        This is the tricky thing about patents: how do you practically distinguish between the result you're trying to achieve (which should not be patentable) from the method to achieve the desired result (which should be patentable).

        In the case of this particular patent, it sounds like the interesting feature is having a sensor array that gets signals in one set of frequency bands then uses some kind of logic to change those frequency bands into a viewable image. Personally I don't see anything patentable there,

        • by WNight (23683)

          Using the government to force revenue to those particular individuals is not a net gain for society

          Exactly! Not financially, or creatively.

          We could put those resources into actually rewarding inventors who help society.

    • by GhostX9 (1525571)
      If you read the patent instead of skimming it, they talk about how the processors can be integrated into a single integrated circuit. The trick behind patent lawsuits is to wait long enough so that the infringing companies owe you a lot of money, but not so long that you lose your ability to successfully win the lawsuit.
  • The first claim requires the camera to have a capture button.

    "(d) a capture button for initiating capture of a still image while previewing the motion images presented on the color display;"

    Apple may want to argue that a touch screen is technically not a button. It would explain Apple's position for apps in the app store that apps are not allowed to remap a physical button as a capture button.

    Bert

    • by Kosi (589267)

      Nice argumentation, but do you really think that a judge or a jury, who have learned that the zone on the monitor around "OK", where they point the cursor and click, is called a button, will follow that?

      • by kanweg (771128)

        Not a professional court. But now you mention it, a jury, possibly.

        Bert

        • by Kosi (589267)

          Not even a jury. Remember, even average people have been trained for years now, that a part of a computer screen can be called button. Except for a jury chosen only from amish people or other idiots of that kind, of course.

          And just to shorten any possible blabla, for whomever who refuses normal medical treatment even for their kids, like amish people and those jehova's witness do, idiot is a compliment, not an insult. No offense to any adult who chooses a way of life without modern technology, that's their

  • by sela (32566) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @12:57PM (#35622986) Homepage

    Thinking about this case made me realize why patents are a bad idea. And the problem with patents have to do with the scarcity of invention ... or lack of thereof.

    Patents give inventors monopoly over their invention, even if other people come up with the same idea independently.
    One of the main assumptions justifying this is that invention is scarce. Coming up with an invention requires either a rare original idea which is hard to come by, some special insight that only few brilliant people would have, or a tremendous amount of effort that only few would be willing to spend on developing such an invention.

    If inventions are indeed rare, then the benefit of encouraging innovation by giving such monopolistic power to the inventor, and making it safe for the inventor to publish the invention and license it to others is greater than the damage caused by such monopoly. If invention is easy to come by, on the other hand, such monopolistic power stifles innovation rather than foster it.
    If you look at most patents, even the better ones, where there is no issue of prior art, most of them are solutions that are easy to come by. They may not be immediately obvious, but if you take any reasonably experienced engineer and give him a few months to work on this problem, they would come up with a solution, and probably a similar solution. With thousands of qualified engineers in each area and hundreds of companies that benefit from such inventions, it no longer makes sense to protect them with patents.

    Patentable inventions are supposed to be "non-obvious", but this doesn't solve the problem. Even if the USPTO made a better job of filtering out obvious inventions (more than the lousy job they're doing right now), we'll still have all these patents where the solution is not immediately obvious but are the kind of invention that any qualified engineer could come by. And because this is true for most inventions, and because there is no clear criteria for distinguishing between the true "high quality" and the lower quality patents, I think we are better off by eliminating patents in most areas altogether.

    • by WNight (23683)

      To see the truth behind patents we need only look at who lobbies for them; companies that hold patents and make nothing.

      If it were helpful for the rest of society (ie, advances the state of the art, enables more production, etc) we'd see clamoring for more patent protection on other people's ideas, to encourage more of these fruitful ideas. Instead, the only people who want patents are those who hope to claim a monopoly on an obvious application of the prior art. Notably absent are the droves of little comp

  • Your digital hardware is proprietary garbage and broken as shit, the rest of your products are a buggy-whip industry, and on top of that you're a patent troll.

    Fuck off and die. kthx.

  • I had an 8mm video camera in 1996 that could also take still photos with a resolution of about 400k pixels, but the resolution of the viewfinder was about 100k pixels. This seems to be prior art? (The patent seems to be about previewing at a low res, but capturing at a high res.)
  • Don't know how the patent law is in the USA, but to make sense, a patent law must include some kind of lower limit (in German "Schöpfungshöhe"), to distinguish between real inventions and non-patentable trivialities. Does patent law in the USA really lack that, are their employees so incompetent that they may have missed how trivial this is, or have they been bribed for granting the patent anyway?

    With a sensor like the CCDs in digital cameras, which deliver a constant stream of data, it is most ob

    • by cvtan (752695)
      Not all CCD sensors can do video. Full-frame devices, which have been used in consumer cameras and are still used in high-end high-res large format cameras, need a shutter and typically do not provide video output. Keep in mind the patent is from 10 years ago. If X*r*x can patent a switch on a copier that lets you put the same size paper in two paper trays, then this patent is quite non-obvious in comparison. Given my experience getting patents at Kodak, their patent bribery system is not very effective
  • You might argue about the problems patents bring us but this at least isn't a "systems and methods" patent which I hate so much. It's a pretty solid one... if they were really granted it they got a solid case in my opinion. I hope they won't win because this could really stifle innovation (I'd hate to see a smartphone without a camera, music player, and so on because patents are stopping it or making it too expensive). But in a legal way I think Kodak is unfortunately right.
  • I have a patent for a "container which typically holds liquids". Now I can sue anyone that has something remotely resembling a drinking glass... " wait u have an ice chest? ... That ice chest is holding water?... Nope I'm suing...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The ITC is made up of six people who delegate patent infringement actions to an administrative law judge. The ALJ runs the proceeding like a court and then makes an "initial determination" to the commission about whether they should exclude products from entry into the country. The commission deciding to review this finding isn't necessarily a sign they will reverse or even change the outcome. It's just an indication that it's an important case that they want to review before the decision of the ALJ (who
  • Kodak hasn't patented the idea of a video preview for a still camera. They patented the idea of taking limited information for the sensor (i.e. skipping pixels) in a specific way to provide a faster, low-quality video preview instead of previewing the data off the entire sensor. Additionally, they talk about taking the data off the sensor in a specific way so that the pixels still maintain the Bayer-filter. When Kodak sold off their OLED technology, I thought they were screwed. With this patent, they ma
  • Apple should fork over a pile of dosh. Not so sure about RIM, but Apple was founded on stealing ideas from other people like PARC. Heck, even the name was taken from the Beatles - for which Apple has had to pay for twice now. And they sue for names not even remotely their own - anyone remember iPood?

    But don't think that I'm picking on Apple alone. Disney's history is hardly Snow White either. And now Disney is the biggest hypocrite in the Don't Steal From Me crowd after Apple.
  • The patent looks like a schematic of an SGI Indy
    with Indy Cam to me.

    I recall previewing images in the digital domain
    and clicking to capture it. Scripts would
    post process... as one might want. One example
    was a security tool hacked by someone tired of
    having the cleaners swipe candy. A sequence of
    stills was inspected for deltas and if things move
    more than a bit a movie or a sequence of stills
    was saved and in once case transported to a machine
    in another building with a locked door.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/ [wikipedia.org]

  • Doing two things at the same time doesn't (or shouldn't) make a patent. It's plainly obvious that it's desirable for electronic devices--computers, which nearly every electronic device technically is nowadays--to do things simultaneously in a useful way.

    I believe that patents are now simply evil and should be abolished. "I thought of it first!" is what it boils down to, and it is just as much whining now as it was in kindergarten. Let inventors negotiate for confidentiality, let companies keep trade secr

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears

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