Apple has an impressive ability to turn the tables.
Some will recall Kodak accusing Apple of violating imaging patents and rattling its saber all while generating headlines that seemingly implicated Apple of substantial wrongdoing. But in short order, Apple turned around and slapped a lawsuit of its own against Kodak. That countersuit has now been accepted for review by the US International Trade Commission.
In the lawsuit, the legal eagles in Cupertino assert that a variety of Kodak cameras expressly violate a similar assortment of patents owned by Apple. And, to be clear, Apple isn't making wild accusations without particulars. Explicitly outlined are several specific patents, like No. 6,031,934 or "Computer vision system for subject characterization." What does that mean exactly and how did Kodak violate this patent? It will likely be some time before we get any answers. Still, the ITC thinks Apple has a point. And, for the time being, that's all that seems to matter.
ITC announced three months ago, however, that would also probe Kodak's claims against Apple - claims that have been suggested to be "tenuous" by some industry analysts. Kodak is arguing that the iPhone violates a Kodak patent that's pertinent to previewing images.
Overall, the Apple brand has been bandied about the ITC a lot lately. As yours truly reported earlier this week, HTC Corp filed a patent infringement case
against Apple on Wednesday. In doing so, HTC requested from the U.S. International Trade Commission an “immediate ban on U.S. sales” of iPhones, iPads and iPods. HTC's suit, however, was a legal reaction to a suit filed against it by Apple two months ago.
All told, Apple is now involved in no shortage of suits and countersuits for the ITC to sort out.