ITC Tosses Kodak Split Ruling in Apple Patent Infringement

Kodak didn’t get the ruling it had hoped for from the U.S. International Trade Commission on Thursday, but it did leave the company with at least a glimmer of hope in its patent battle against Apple. The ITC upheld (PDF) some of the ruling , modified other parts, and then sent its findings back to the judge overseeing the case for additional review.

Kodak doesn't get all they want from ITCITC sends Kodak case back to the judge

Kodak has been claiming Apple and RIM are infringing on its patents by offering an on-screen preview for photos taken with the iPhone and BlackBerry smartphone products. The ITC judge overseeing the case ruled earlier this year that the patents were invalid, Kodak appealed the decision, and now it appears there’s a chance a part of that ruling could change.

The ITC panel changed some of the terms used in Kodak’s case and is now asking the judge that issued the earlier ruling to review and modify, if necessary, the findings based on their modifications.

Kodak is taking what little it has been given as good news. “The [Administrative Law Judge’s] recommendation represents a preliminary step in a process that we are extremely confident will conclude in Kodak’s favor,” commented Laura G. Quatela, Kodak’s General Counsel, Chief Intellectual Property Officer and Senior Vice President.

Kodak had been hoping for a complete reversal of the judge’s ruling, which would put the company in a much stronger position to get licensing fees out of Apple and RIM in its other patent infringement lawsuits against the companies. Ever since the demand for traditional film has dried up, Kodak has been relying more on patent licenses for revenue, and has been hoping to get as much as $1 billion out of Apple and RIM.

The judge reviewing the case has until August 30 to issue a final ruling.