ITC: Kodak Has Nothing On King Apple

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) were the winners in an International Trade Commission ruling on Monday that declared that Eastman Kodak’s claims on a digital photography patent were invalid.

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Kodak has accused Apple and RIM of infringing a patent related to previewing images on a digital camera-enabled device. But Judge Thomas Pender said Kodak’s claims on the patent were invalid under “for obviousness.” However, he added that, were it valid, BlackBerry devices and the Apple iPhone 3G would infringe it, while the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 would not.

The ruling is subject to review by a six-member commission, which can block imports of products that infringe U.S. patents. The ITC’s final decision is expected by September 21. Kodak said it would appeal the ITC judge’s recommendation and noted that an earlier ruling by the body had found Samsung guilty of violating the same patent. Samsung and LG have reportedly paid Kodak $964 million in settlements.

Monday’s decision is likely to hurt the value of assets the company, which went bankrupt in January, is selling to pay its creditors. The company also alleged that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) tried to affect a planned patent sale to try and avoid paying Kodak more than $1 billion in damages and royalties. Apple is a potential buyer of the patents, which are said to be worth $2.6 billion.

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