Kodak wins patent battle against Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission says it won't hear Apple's arguments against an earlier decision by a judge, ruling in favor of Kodak's claims that it didn't violate Apple patents.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
2 min read

Apple has officially lost its patent infringement suit against Eastman Kodak.

The U.S. International Trade Commission yesterday announced that it will not review Apple's patent case against Kodak, effectively ending the iPhone maker's chance of getting an earlier ruling by an ITC judge that was in favor of Kodak's case overturned.

Apple filed its patent infringement claim against Kodak last year, alleging that the company violated patent 6,031,964, a "system and method for using a unified memory architecture to implement a digital camera device." It claimed Kodak also infringed patent RE38,911, a "modular digital image processing via an image processing chain with modifiable parameter controls."

In May, ITC judge Robert Rogers said that Apple's patents were not being infringed by Kodak's own products. That ruling was an "initial determination," meaning the ITC's full, six-member commission could decide to overturn the ruling and hear the case on its own.

"Having examined the record of this investigation, including the [judge's] final initial determination, the petition for review, and the responses thereto, the Commission has determined not to review the [case]," the ITC wrote in a ruling yesterday.

Aside from this case, Apple and Kodak are engaged in another ITC battle. In January 2010, Kodak filed a suit against Apple and Research In Motion, alleging that the companies violated its patents through their use of image previews in the iPhone and BlackBerry devices. In January of this year, an ITC judge ruled that Apple and RIM did not infringe Kodak's patents. However, the ITC's six commissioners agreed to hear arguments from the companies.

Though Apple didn't win its case against Kodak, the company did score a major victory on Friday when the ITC ruled that smartphone maker HTC violated two of Apple's patents. HTC said that it will appeal the decision, potentially paving the way for a full review of the case by the ITC's six-member commission.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on its loss to Kodak.