Apple Seeks Swift Appeal of Kodak Imaging Patent Ruling

Apple Inc., which lost part of a court fight with Eastman Kodak Co. this month when a federal judge denied its ownership claim of two digital image patents, is seeking a swift appeal of his decision.

Bankrupt Kodak sued Apple in June, accusing the iPhone maker of trying to disrupt an auction of more than 1,000 patents that officially starts tomorrow. A judge in Manhattan ruled in favor of Kodak on two of 10 patents claimed by Apple, which Kodak plans to sell as part of its bankruptcy restructuring. Apple can’t appeal his decision until he makes his ruling final.

“There is no just reason to delay an appeal,” a lawyer for Apple told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper yesterday in a letter, asking him to enter a final order in court records. “Apple believes it is in all of the parties’ interests to resolve all potential appeals on these issues as soon as possible.”

Apple has been trying to move the Kodak lawsuit from bankruptcy court to U.S. District Court so another judge can review the merits of its “inventorship and ownership claims,” it has said.

It renewed its effort to move the case on Aug. 2, a day after Gropper’s ruling, it said. It might be “appropriate” if the judge’s order included a qualification that his decision can be reviewed by a district judge, Apple said.

Eight Patents

In an Aug. 2 letter to U.S. District Judge George Daniels, Apple noted that Gropper ruled against Kodak on eight of the 10 patents. Daniels invited Apple to come back to him after Gropper had ruled on the case, according to the letter.

Apple asked Gropper to remove from his pending order some of the language proposed by Kodak, saying the iPhone maker “has no interest in” or is “enjoined from attempting to prevent, hinder or delay” the patent sale.

The phrases might be interpreted as “an improper attempt to strip Apple” of its right to appeal, the company said in the letter, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

The Apple lawsuit is Eastman Kodak Co. v. Apple Inc., 12-01720, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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