U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings released on Tuesday show that the transfer of a number of Kodak patents to Apple has begun, as the iPhone manufacturer takes ownership of several patents related to digital photography.
Thursday saw the filing of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,432,479, 8,432,472, 8,432,456, and 8,432,461. The patents in question cover measurement of range using a zoom camera, displaying and sharing digital images, and wireless sharing of digital images via a network.
Apple will most likely use the patents to protect itself from litigation against its line of iOS devices and Mac computers. While Apple doesn’t make a standalone digital camera, nearly every device it produces features a built in camera.
Kodak, a former leader in the camera industry, has been unable to adapt to the fast-moving digital photography world, leading to bankruptcy court for the 125-year-old firm, and the sale of 1,100 digital photography related patents.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft were the largest names that were interested in Kodak’s patents. The firm wound up selling its portfolio for $525 million to a total of 12 licensees. Under the terms of the January agreement, each licensee will receive rights with respect to Kodak’s digital imaging patent portfolio and other intellectual property.
Kodak will retain the rights to use the patents in its future businesses, as well as any subsidiary companies the firm spins off.