ITC Postpones Ruling in Kodak, Apple Patent Case

The U.S. International Trade Commission was scheduled to release a ruling in the patent infringement allegations Kodak has launched against Apple and RIM on Thursday, but pushed back the date a week to June 30. Kodak has been claiming that the software used to generate previews in smartphone digital cameras violates patents it owns.

Kodak ruling delayed by ITCITC delays ruling in Kodak patent case

The ITC didn’t offer an explanation for the ruling postponement, although Florian Mueller of Foss Patents speculated that either the ITC was dealing with its own internal delays, or that the agency wanted to give Kodak and Apple more time to work out a settlement and avoid a ruling.

An initial ruling found that Apple and RIM hadn’t infringed on Kodak’s patents, but that ruling required a full review by the commission. The agency had originally set June 23 for its deadline.

Assuming the ITC reverses its earlier ruling, Apple and RIM could face fines and might even see iPhones and BlackBerry smartphones blocked from import into the U.S. Kodak is hoping to rake in about a billion dollars from Apple and RIM, too.

Scoring some big cash from Apple and RIM isn’t something Kodak would turn down. The company is currently looking to use intellectual property licensing to cover losses from the declining film market, and to boost its inkjet printer, software, and packaging businesses.