In what could be a severe blow to its prospects to bolster the value of its patents, Eastman Kodak has lost its patent case against Apple and Research in Motion over digital image-preview technology in a ruling, according to The New York Times.
On January 14, 2010, Kodak filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that RIM’s camera-enabled products infringe Kodak’s ‘218 patent. On May 21, 2012 Judge Pender reaffirmed the earlier finding of then, presiding Chief Judge Luckern that Kodak’s ‘218 patent is invalid. Kodak requested that the full Commission review and modify that finding, but instead the ITC made final the decision that the Kodak ‘218 patent is invalid.
Kodak has been seeking to force Apple and RIM to pay licensing fees and bolster the value of patents Kodak intends to sell. Kodak said in a court filing that Apple owed more than $1 billion in royalties. The dispute has dragged on for about 30 months, almost twice as long as a typical trade commission case.
Last Friday, the commission dismissed the complaint, upholding a finding by one of its judges that the patent was invalid. The commission concluded that neither Apple nor RIM had violated trade laws that could have led to an injunction halting imports of their products.
Kodak said the validity of its patent had been previously upheld and that it would appeal the ruling.
“RIM is pleased that both former ITC Chief Judge Luckern and ITC Judge Pender, and now the full Commission, have confirmed that the Kodak ‘218 patent is invalid,” said Barbara Parvis, RIM Vice President of Litigation. “RIM respects the valid intellectual property rights of other companies, but will vigorously defend itself against improper claims.”