Sun expects Kodak lawsuit comeuppance

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Sun Microsystems may have paid Eastman Kodak $92 million to settle a patent infringement lawsuit, but the server and software company expects to exact revenge, Chief Executive Scott McNealy said Wednesday.

Speaking at a panel discussion with his fellow Sun cofounders at the Computer History Museumhere, McNealy said Kodak will come up against Sun's intellectual property portfolio as it transforms from a film company to a digital technology company.

"Sometimes corporations turn into (patent) trolls. We got nailed by a film company in Rochester, N.Y. for supposedly having Java. We had to make a $90 million payment," McNealy said. "I call it a loan, because that company is moving into the digital infrastructure (realm) and they're going to step all over our IP (intellectual property). That's why I call it a loan with a high interest rate."

Sun might be gracious about the situation, he added. "Hopefully we can work out something more amicable," McNealy said.

He also predicted that Google, now a company with vast sums of cash on hand, will have a very busy intellectual property lawyer. "You don't sue a skid-row bum, you sue guy with a lot of money," McNealy said.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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