Apple Faces Lawsuit for Using a Polaroid Patent


Digitech Image Technologies has filed a lawsuit claiming Apple is violating a powerful Polaroid patent — the one that beat Kodak in court in 1986 regarding the “instant camera”  — now in the ownership of the Newport Beach California-based company, Patently Apple reports.

iPhone camera images

Turns out Apple is just the next in line when it comes to patent infringement lawsuit filings over US Patent No. 6,128,415 for “Device profiles for use in a digital image processing system”, granted to Polaroid, but now wielded by Digitech. The latter has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Sony, Toshiba, Motorola, Asus computer and more over the past month, citing the same patent.

The patent abstract reads as follows:

“Device profiles conventionally describe properties of a device or element within a digital image processing system that capture, transform or render color components of an image. An improved device profile includes both chromatic characteristic information and spatial characteristic information. The device profile is generated by use of both chromatic and spatial characteristic functions within a model based image processing system to predict both color and spatial characteristics of a processed image. The device profile generally includes: first data for describing a device dependent transformation of color information content of the image; and second data for describing a device dependent transformation of spatial information content of the image. In a special case, the device profile could contain only spatial characteristic information.”

As the previous filings show, the lawsuit will likely be against all iDevices with a rear camera.

One thing is certain: Digitech has to wait its turn for monetary claims, as the list of patent infringement filings submitted by patent trolls is very, very long.


  • Like I said before, I think Apple really opened the door to this by suing Samsung. Of course tech companies are going to infringe on some patents when developing new products, often by accident, but that’s how progress is made.

    Apple showed the world that they think that the kind of progress that builds on the backs of others’ work should cost money, and now there’s a line of people handing Apple their bill for doing exactly that.

  • Ryan

    Did you read the article? Polaroid sued Kodak in 1986 over the same patent. That’s well before the Apple – Samsung battle. It’s such a simple life, just blame Apple.

  • I think that almost proves my point more. If they’ve succeeded before in suing Kodak, why wait until now to sue numerous others that infringe upon their patent?

    Since the Apple/Samsung outcome it seems to me that the number of lawsuits being filed against electronic giants has greatly increased. I think people didn’t think it was worth suing over before. When Apple succeeded, everyone that held electronics patents started seeing dollar signs. Then again, it could just be the press coverage that’s increased. It would be interesting to dive into that a bit more.

  • Tom

    Polaroid is on its last breath. Good luck getting pass Apple’s lawyers.