ITC to review Kodak's claim against Apple, RIM

The U.S. International Trade Commission says it'll review Kodak's patent infringement claim against Apple and RIM, which alleges that they're illegally using its image preview technology.

The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided that it will review Eastman Kodak's patent infringement complaint against Apple and Research in Motion.

The move, which was reported by Reuters this afternoon, marks the latest step in Kodak's mission to get Apple and RIM to pay royalties for allegedly illegally using its intellectual property. The patent in question deals with an image-previewing system for cameras.

Back in January, an ITC administrative law judge had said that Kodak's technology was not being used illegally in Apple's iPhone, or RIM's BlackBerry devices, which prompted the ruling to be put to a review by a six-member commission.

A representative for Apple declined to comment. Kodak and RIM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In its original complaint with the ITC, Kodak sought to keep mobile devices from both companies out of the U.S., if they had built-in cameras. Kodak's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez had told Bloomberg earlier today that a successful outcome in the claim could earn the company more than $1 billion in patent royalties from Apple and RIM. Furthermore, it was his belief that the company "deserves to win."

Kodak has been involved in a number of patent suits in the past decade, facing off against companies like Sony, Panasonic, Matsushita, and Samsung, cutting licensing deals with many. According to Bloomberg, that IP war chest netted Kodak $838 million last year from patents alone, with the patent in the ITC complaint pulling in $964 million in combined settlements over the years.

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