ITC Rules Kodak Patent Invalid in Apple, RIM Case

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Kodak suffered a major loss in court at the end of last week when an International Trade Commission panel ruled that a patent the company accused Apple and RIM of violating was invalid. The patent described a system for previewing images on digital cameras, and was considered one of the most valuable in Kodak’s portfolio.

ITC Blows Kodak patent infringement case out of the waterITC Blows Kodak patent infringement case out of the water

The ITC panel upheld an earlier ruling, according to the Wall Street Journal, and said that as a result Apple and RIM couldn’t have violated trade laws in this case.

Kodak claimed the digital camera preview system iPhone, as well as RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones, infringed on its patent, and wanted to force both companies to pay licensing fees.

Losing the patent infringement lawsuit it filed against Apple and RIM is only part of the sting for Kodak. The company is dealing with Chapter 11 bankruptcy headaches and had hoped to continue using the image preview patent to bring in more revenue through ongoing licensing deals.

Kodak has also been planning on including the patent in a portfolio auction it estimated at being worth about US$2.6 billion. Without the image preview patent, however, the value of the portfolio could drop significantly, which is bad news for the cash-strapped company.

Kodak hasn’t commented on the ruling, although company CEO Antonio Perez had previously said that the patent was among the company’s most valuable.

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4 Comments

geoduck

The ITC ruled the patent was invalid.
I wonder if they decided that being able to see an image on the device you will take the picture with was obvious? I wonder if this means that Samsung and the other companies that signed agreements with Kodak will demand their money back? I wonder if Kodak will exist beyond 2012?

Zaphod

In a larger sense, it is sad to see once great companies like Kodak, Smith-Corona, and Bell Telephone die away when they fall behind the tech curve and no longer innovate.  Evolution at work I guess, and I’m sure the presidents all escaped with golden parachutes, while the engineers that created so many good things lost their jobs.

geoduck

it is sad to see once great companies like Kodak, Smith-Corona, and Bell Telephone die away when they fall behind the tech curve

Agreed. Up here Nortel died a few years ago and it now looks like RIM will not be long for this world. Sad.

Terrin

In a larger sense, it is sad to see once great companies like Kodak, Smith-Corona, and Bell Telephone die away when they fall behind the tech curve and no longer innovate.?

The problem isn’t these companies inability to innovate. They innovated plenty. However, the problem was, like Xerox, they didn’t want to let go of the old and embrace the new. That is where Apple to date has excelled. It has always been willing to ditch its own incumbent technologies for better technologies even though doing so is risky.

Film made Kodak a lot of money. Kodak created exciting new technologies mostly out of defensive posturing to gain patents on technologies in order to prevent competitors from displacing it’s revenue stream based on it’s film empire.

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