updated 06:12 pm EDT, Mon May 21, 2012
Judgment undermines worth of Kodak patent portfolio
The US International Trade Commission has ruled that a patent involved in Kodak's lawsuit against Apple and Research in Motion is invalid, according to AppleInsider. In particular an administrative law judge has quashed the 6,292,218 patent, Method for Live View Display and Digital Camera Using Same, on the basis of claim 15 in the document. Kodak will reportedly appeal the decision to the full commission, a necessary step if it intends to continue suing Apple and RIM for infringing the patent.
The decision could have potentially dire consequences for Kodak, which is already in the middle of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The company must file an auction procedure by June 30th, but has been hoping to find a buyer for its 1,100 patents, which it has argued could be worth billions of dollars. The '218 patent is one of the more prominent ones in Kodak's arsenal.
In the ITC judge's preliminary ruling, claim 15 was rendered obsolete due to "obviousness." Had it held up, the judge notes that the iPhone 3G and several targeted BlackBerry phones would have violated it. The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 did pass scrutiny, however.
Kodak argues that the ruling was a "preliminary step in a process," and that proceedings will ultimately turn out in its favor. As evidence the company points to a separate decision, in which another judge found '218 valid and violated by Samsung.