The International Trade Commission (ITC) has stood behind a ruling and reiterated that a Kodak patent that was brought up in an infringement case against Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) is indeed invalid. This is a blow to the photography company’s efforts to regain some ground by selling its patent stockpile. The infringement complaint was dismissed by the ITC on Friday following a complaint against a preliminary ruling against the company made on May 21st by the ITC.
Back in January, Kodak had filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 and since then, it has been trying to raise some money by auctioning off its patents, of which it as 1100. In the case against Apple and RIM, the patent in question was one pertaining to image previewing and analysts believed that this was one of the most attractive ones to potential buyers. So far, it has been very lucrative and easily the biggest earner from licensing fees.
Kodak had initially filed the complaint against Apple and RIM claiming that the previewing of images on the smartphones was copied off the technology used in Kodak’s own cameras. It had even filed a motion seeking to ban the phones from entering the country. When it was reviewed by the ITC, it was found that on Apple’s front, the patent was infringed upon in the iPhone 3G but not in the 3GS or the iPhone 4. Despite this, the ITC found the claim to be invalid and cited “obviousness” as grounds for dismissing it. Kodak had also filed several patent infringement suits against Samsung among which image-preview patent was also one. However, the patent was found valid in that case making Samsung liable for infringement.
Despite the complaint being dismissed initially, Kodak appeared reasonably happy over the incident as it was agreed that there was some form of infringement. Though this complaint was dismissed, it appears Kodak is readying itself for another appeal to validate its claim. The company seems more focused on Apple, which according to Kodak has delayed licensing fees to a large extent. In addition, Kodak believes that the legal issues with the patents are going to help Apple pay less for the patents if it does end up buying. Ideally, the infringement case should have been settled earlier on but it appears the Apple and RIM have won the battle and see no risk of a ban on their products.