Kodak Patent Complaint Rejected in First Round

Kodak is suing Apple and Research in Motion (RIM), claiming that both companies have infringed upon its digital imaging technology patents. The preliminary ruling rejecting the complaint came down from the US International Trade Commission (ITC). According to Kodak, mobile phones including the BlackBerry and iPhone violate a 2001 patent covering photo previews.

Kodak patent infringement lawsuit

Both Apple and RIM have remained silent on the issue. Kodak has licensed digital imaging technology to 30 companies, including mobile phone giants Motorola and Nokia. The company currently holds one thousand digital imaging patents that are integral to most cameras on the market today.

Kodak is scheduled to report its fourth quarter earnings before Wednesday, and analysts are concerned about declining profit margins in 2011. The company has seen better days in its 130-year history. Kodak is currently trying to remake itself with new inkjet printers, a commercial line of high-speed digital presses, and higher-end camera offerings.

Kodak expects to prevail against Apple and RIM in the end, with the goal of extracting royalty payments from the two companies. Samsung and LG Electronics were recently forced to pay one-time royalties of $550 million and $414 million respectively for violating the same photo preview patent.

The ITC usually resolves patent complaints in about a year. The agency's commissioners are scheduled to make another ruling on Kodak's initial rejection by May 23.

Tag: Apple, Kodak, News, Patents