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Kodak says it can sell patents (though Apple has claims on ’em)

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Eastman Kodak says it’s received approval from bankruptcy court to go ahead with the auction of its digital imaging patent portfolios, despite claims to some of those patents by Apple and a company called FlashPoint Technologies, reports the IDG News Service (http://macte.ch/Dj1D0).

In a statement, Kodak it’s been granted the right to sell these patents “free and clear” of the two companies’ claims at the auction, subject to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. However, Kodak will \ have to provide “adequate protection” for Apple and FlashPoint if the patent sale is closed before the dispute between Kodak and the two companies is resolved, per the IDG News Service.

Last month Eastman Kodak failed to persuade a judge to rule that Apple has no interest in a group of patents Kodak is putting up for sale as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in Manhattan said the dispute could be resolved through a lawsuit in Kodak’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

Kodak wants to sell the patent assets; the company said in court papers that it needed the order to aid in the sale. Apple has claimed ownership of the patents and is trying to “delay and derail” the sale effort, Kodak said.

Apple sued Kodak in April 2010, about three months after Kodak accused Apple and Research In Motion of infringing a patent related to ways of previewing images. Apple’s countersuit said Kodak devices copy the technology that it uses in Macs, iPhone, iTunes and Photo Booth involving image processing, energy management and memory design.

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