Kodak's patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, Research in Motion, Samsung and LG was one of the bigger chances it had of rising from its ashes, but success failed to be achieved.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled, on Friday (July 20, 2012), that Apple and Research in Motion do not infringe its digital photography patent.
Kodak is basically bankrupt, only hanging onto a few threads now that it has sold or liquidated most of its major assets.
While it got the $950 financing it sought, it still backed out of the camera market
and even failed to keep its slide film business alive
This lawsuit against Samsung, LG, Apple, and Research in Motion almost became its big payday. In a way, it partially did actually.
Back in 2009, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determined, preliminarily, that Samsung and LG had infringed a patent regarding viewing of images on LCD screens.
The two could have pressed on, even appeal in federal court, but instead decided to pay $550 million and $414 million, respectively, just to be done with it. That's 454.35 million and 342 million Euro, according to exchange rates.
Apple and Rim decided to fight though, and their choice paid off. Neither has to pay a huge settlement, so Kodak's patent, filed in 1997, won't be earning the troubled company more money any time soon.
“RIM is pleased that both former ITC Chief Judge Luckern and ITC Judge Pender, and now the full Commission, have confirmed that the Kodak ‘218 patent is invalid,” said
Barbara Parvis, RIM vice president of litigation.
“RIM respects the valid intellectual property rights of other companies, but will vigorously defend itself against improper claims.”
This outcome may come as a bit of a surprise after the so-called win that Kodak squeezed against Apple a couple of weeks back. Then again, it was in a completely different matter.