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Kodak vs Shutterfly Patent Suit Could Affect Photo Sites

The patent dispute between Kodak and Shutterfly looks set to threaten many image sites displaying pictures online, an expert has claimed.

Speaking to BBC News, intellectual property specialist at law firm Pinsent Masons, Deborah Bould, said that Kodak’s case against Shutterfly could be used against a host of other online photo services, including Yahoo's Flickr and Google's Picassa.

"The patents Kodak holds are incredibly broad, effectively covering images that are stored centrally and can be ordered online," Bould said.

If successful, and with around 400 similar patents, Kodak could sue similar sites deemed to infringe its intellectual property.

“We are committed to protecting these assets from unauthorised use," Kodak said in a statement.

Earlier this month Kodak filed a suit against Shutterfly, alleging it of infringing upon patents relating to the making and selling of photos through its website. Shutterfly denies the claims and has since launched a counter suit.

Both are seeking an injunction, damages, treble damages and costs in compensation.