Kodak Loses Patent Infringement Case Against Apple And RIM

By Joseph Mandour on June 15, 2012

Patent PortfolioOrange County – In more bad news for the Eastman Kodak Company, it appears that Kodak has recently lost its two-year patent infringement battle over digital image previewing technology. The recent decision, handed down by International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender, determined that there was no patent infringement because the Kodak patent itself was not valid. Furthermore, the digital image technology was simply a variation of earlier inventions and was not patentable. The decision by Judge Pender in favor of Apple and RIM will most likely effect the valuation of Kodak’s assets in its ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

The disputed patent concerns a feature that previews low-resolution versions of moving images, while simultaneously recording high-resolution images. Kodak has already received $964 million dollars in damages from LG Electronics and Samsung over infringement of its technology. In this most recent lawsuit, Kodak had hoped to force RIM and Apple to settle the patent infringement case and pay for licensing. Kodak’s bankruptcy documents claim that Apple owes it over $1 billion in damages for infringement of its digital capture patents.< Despite the negative news for Kodak, the findings are still subject to an additional review by a six-member panel in Washington. Further investigation by the commission should be complete by September 21. Kodak initially lost the same fight last year in front of another ITC judge, only to have its case re-opened by the commission panel. Apple's iPhone and Blackberry's Tour, Storm, Bold, Curve and Pearl, are all targeted in Kodak's current case. Kodak also has other cases pending, including its patent infringement lawsuit against HTC and Apple, which is related to the same technology. The trial against Apple and HTC is set to begin in February. Kodak's company value has recently taken a significant downturn due to the digital image technology boom. As a result, the well-known camera company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. Despite over 131 years of imaging success, Kodak has been gradually selling off photography patent assets as part of a company plan to reduce size and create a more marketable corporate structure. With a portfolio of over 1,100 digital technology patents and another covering imaging systems and services, Kodak's patents are its most valuable assets. According to its bankruptcy documents, Kodak's assets are currently worth 2.21 to 2.57 billion dollars.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement