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ITC tosses some Kodak issues with Apple and RIM

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Kodak Patents

    As trolls have brought the whole patent system into disrepute, it is a bit unfair to characterise Kodak in similar fashion. They were pioneers in digital imaging technology and virtually every digital sensor in existence justifiably owes a royalty to Kodak for the Bayer patent alone. There is nothing wrong with protecting patents you created (rather than bought) that covered products that you actually manufactured. Kodak is no troll.

  1. chas_m



    It is, however ...

    ... sad that they can no longer innovate their way back into the market the way Apple has. I agree with your point, Feathers, but as Kodak relies more heavily on patent royalties rather than doing stuff like, say, this:

    (or even just buying companies like this)

    ... they slump further and further into irrelevancy, all for the sake of keeping greedy shareholders happy (temporarily).

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  1. CmdrGampu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too bad for Kodak

    "Patent disputes on both sides have been mostly a wash"

    The difference is Apple doesn't need a patent victory to survive. Kodak does. Stalemate favors the strong.

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