Kodak suffers setback in IT patent suit vs. Apple, RIM

Kodak lost a preliminary ruling in an International Trade Commission patent suit against Apple and Research in Motion.

Kodak said Monday that it lost a ruling in an International Trade Commission patent suit against Apple and Research in Motion.

In a statement, Kodak said that a judge determined that its patent claim arguing that Apple and RIM were infringing on image preview technology in digital cameras was invalid.

The company added that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) upheld Kodak's claim.

Although the ruling was a setback, the final ITC ruling will come May 23. That ruling will be handed down by a commission instead of one judge.

Laura G. Quatela, Kodak's general counsel, said:

The (judge's) recommendation represents a preliminary step in a process that we are extremely confident will conclude in Kodak’s favor. This very same Kodak patent was upheld by a different ALJ at the ITC in our case against LG and Samsung, whose products use the very same Kodak technology to function in the very same manner as similar products from Apple and RIM. What’s more, the attorneys at the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations, which separately examined this case, agree with Kodak’s interpretation of the patent. We fully expect the ITC Commission will ultimately rule that the patent claim at issue is valid and infringed by Apple and RIM.

Kodak filed its ITC complaint a little more than a year ago. Kodak's suit is one of many in the wireless device industry over patents.

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