Kodak claims bankruptcy, sues Apple, Samsung and HTC

Kodak has filed for bankruptcy, but is suing Samsung, as well as Apple and HTC.

Kodak has filed for bankruptcy, but if it's going out, it's going out fighting. The venerable photography company is suing Samsung, as well as Apple and HTC.

Kodak has challenged the three rivals over four patents, with a fifth thrown in against Samsung. It's the latest skirmish in the patent wars around mobile phones.

The patents Kodak claims Apple, Samsung and HTC have infringed are to do with capturing stills while filming video, and various technologies related to transmitting pictures from a camera to the Internet, over email, 3G and Wi-Fi. Kodak licenses these technologies to companies including LG, Microsoft and Nokia.

Eastman Kodak has filed for Chapter 11 business reorganization in the bankruptcy court of New York. It's only the first step towards going bust and could save the company, but for now it can't pay its bills and will sell off its assets to clear those debts.

Should there be anything left at the end of this process, Kodak could come out the other side as "a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company". In the meantime, you can still buy Kodak cameras and printers.

Kodak has set up a website detailing the process at kodaktransforms.com.

It's sad to see this venerable and respected name in the photography world fall so hard. A Kodak engineer built the first digital camera but the firm was slow to adjust to the shift to digital. Kodak clung to printing of photos with in-store kiosks and printers , while the world shifted to digital sharing of snaps instead. The EasyShare range of compact cameras never caught fire, especially when competing with new and more innovative entrants to the camera market like Panasonic, Samsung and Sony.

One area in which Kodak has impressed us is the realm of portable camcorders. However, its range of PlaySport and PlayTouch rugged pocket video cameras were quickly surpassed by camera phones ending the mini-camcorder's moment in the sun.

How did things go so badly wrong for Kodak, one of the oldest and best-loved names in photography? Tell us your favourite Kodak moments in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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