A judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that Kodak’s camera technology does not infringe on two Apple digital camera patents. Although the ruling is subject to review by the commission’s six-judge panel, the finding does strength Kodak’s hand in its ongoing patent litigation with Apple that Apple technology infringes on Kodak imaging patents.
Kodak launched its infringement suit against Apple and Canada’s Research in Motion back in January 2010, and the U.S. ITC has recently agreed to a full review of Kodak’s claims against the companies. Apple countersued Kodak over a year ago; ITC Judge Robert Rogers’ new ruling, if sustained, would take the wind out of Apple’s counterclaim and give Kodak more leverage in negotiations with Apple.
Kodak is trying to negotiate a licensing deal for its technology that would be worth up to $1 billion from both Apple and RIM. The company has already inked licensing deals with the likes of Samsung and LG that, according to industry reports, produced over $800 million in royalties in 2010 alone.
The ITC’s six-judge ruling on whether Apple and RIM infringe on Kodak patents is expected next month.