Major Setback for Kodak in Suit Against Apple, RIM
It certainly wasn't a Kodak moment for the folks at Eastman Kodak Company today. On Tuesday, Bloomberg
reported that Kodak has been "handed a setback" in its ITC case against Apple. Kodak alleges that Apple - and RIM - owe the purported maker of the first ever digital camera royalty payments on a "common image-preview feature used" employed by smartphones including the iPhone and BlackBerry.
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that neither the iPhone or the BlackBerry violate Kodak’s patent. The judge's ruling, however, must still be reviewed for final approval by a review board. The six-member commission has the power to block imports of products that infringe upon US patents. Certainly, the setback for Kodak does not bode favorably for the iconic 130-year-old camera maker, which has been "trying to drum up royalties from its more than 1,000 digital-imaging patents to fund a shift to more modern devices."
As we've seen countless times before in lawsuits involving Apple, the legal eagles in Cupertino have a case of their own against Kodak. A patent-infringement complaint was filed at the ITC by Apple with a trial scheduled to begin in less than one week - Monday, January 31st in Washington. Similarly, RIM has a civil lawsuit pending in federal court that effectively challenges the validity of Kodak patents, including the one in the ITC case.