Kodak suffers blow as patent in Apple, RIM case is ruled invalid

The International Trade Commission upholds a preliminary ruling that a potentially valuable patent covering image preview is, in fact, invalid.

The International Trade Commission has upheld a ruling that a Kodak patent in an infringement case against Apple and Research In Motion is invalid -- undermining the iconic photography company's efforts to save itself by selling its patent portfolio.

The ITC dismissed the Kodak complaint late Friday, upholding a preliminary ruling made May 21 by ITC administrative law judge Thomas Pender.

Kodak, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, has been hoping to raise billions of dollars by selling its 1,100 patents at auction.

The patent in the Apple and RIM case covers the previewing of images and was thought to be one of the most attractive to potential buyers. It had already proved to be the most lucrative in terms of licensing fees, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The case isn't necessarily over, however. Kodak said it would appeal the ITC's ruling, noting that the validity of the patent had been upheld before, according to the Journal, which added that RIM welcomed the decision and that Apple wasn't immediately available for comment.

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