updated 05:50 pm EDT, Thu June 30, 2011
ITC alters ruling vs Kodak's Apple, RIM complaint
The ITC on Thursday decided to mostly uphold a ruling from January that Apple and RIM didn't violate Kodak patents. It said it would "reverse" some aspects but also dismissed some of Kodak's views. The commission believed the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 didn't "literally" violate a patent for taking photos while previewing moving footage and that Kodak would have to argue on a doctrine of equivalents.
Products subject to the complaint broke a limitation on color pixel values, the ITC said. It also changed the definition of what a still processor and a motion processor were but didn't produce a final decision on what those changes meant for the verdict. Other parts of the decision were being upheld.
Commission secretary James Holbein gave the administrative law judge in the case another two months, until August 30, to give him room to schedule more proceedings if they were necessary.
The move gives partial support to Apple and RIM by reducing the number of remaining issues but will frustrate Kodak. Once the most successful camera designer in the US, it has struggled in the post-film era and has been leaning on patent royalties as an alternative to competing based on products. As much as $1 billion in revenue could ride on the ITC's point of view.
Patent disputes on both sides have been mostly a wash and saw the ITC dismiss Apple's complaint in May. Countering ITC complaints are frequent in patent disputes as bargaining tactics but are seldom rejected for both sides.