Kodak Spurs ITC Investigation into Apple, RIM

The U.S. International Trade Commission plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the companies are using Kodak owned patent technology following a complaint from the camera maker.

According to Kodak, it owns patents that cover the way Apple and RIM preview photos in their smartphone products. The camera maker claimed in its complaint that the iPhone, along with several BlackBerry models, use the technology without permission.

Kodak filed its complaint with the ITC in January along with two lawsuits in New York. At the time of the filing, Kodak's Chief Intellectual Property Officer and Vice President, Laura G. Quatela, commented "We remain open to negotiating a fair and amicable agreement with both Apple and RIM, which has always been our preference and our practice with other licensees."

Should the ITC rule that Apple and RIM are violating Kodak's patents, it could block the import of the iPhone and several BlackBerry models. Since ITC investigations typically take several months, it may be some time before a ruling is issued.

[Thanks to the BBC for the heads up.]