Apple Loss in ITC Case Against Kodak Will Stand, Panel Rules

A ruling that Eastman Kodak Co. (EK)’s digital-camera technology doesn’t violate Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s patent rights will stand, the U.S. International Trade Commission said.

Kodak rose as much as 15 percent in late trading after notice of the decision was posted on the Washington-based trade agency’s website. ITC Judge Robert Rogers found on May 12 that the two Apple patents in the case weren’t infringed, and one of the patents was invalid.

Apple went after Kodak in April 2010, about three months after the Rochester, New York-based camera maker accused Apple and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) of infringing a patent related to ways of previewing images. The commission in the Kodak complaint is reviewing a judge’s finding in January that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry don’t violate the patent.

Kodak Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez has been seeking to force Cupertino, California-based Apple and Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM to pay patent royalties. Perez has said a licensing deal with the two companies may generate as much as $1 billion in new revenue. A victory for Apple today could have made it harder for Kodak to demand that much in negotiations.

“We are pleased that the commission has confirmed the ALJ’s finding that there is no violation by Kodak,” David Lanzillo, a Kodak spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Kodak rose to $2.89 at 5:01 p.m., after falling 22 cents to $2.52 at the 4 p.m. close of regular New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Apple Patents

One of the Apple patents covers a way a camera can process several images at the same time and the other invention is for a way to handle multiple processes at once, such as adjustments in balance, color, sharpness and resolution. The complaint targeted the Kodak Z series, M series, C series, and Slice cameras, as well as video cameras including the Playsport.

The case is In the Matter of Digital Imaging Devices and Related Software, 337-717, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington). The Kodak case against Apple and RIM is is In the Matter of Certain Mobile Telephones and Wireless Communication Devices Featuring Digital Cameras, and Components Thereof, 337-703, USITC.

To contact the reporter on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allan Holmes at aholmes25@bloomberg.net

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