Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez says a victory for his company in its patent fight with Apple and RIM may add more than US$1 billion in revenue from royalty payments, reports “Bloomberg” (http://macte.ch/3jonI).
Of course, Kodak hasn’t won the legal battle yet. Perez just thinks his company “deserves to win.”
A decision is scheduled for about 5 p.m. Washington time today on whether the U.S. International Trade Commission will review a judge’s findings from January that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry don’t violate Kodak’s patent on an image- preview feature in camera phones. Opening a review would revive Kodak’s effort to extract compensation from Apple and RIM, notes “Bloomberg.”
However, in January, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that the action brought by Kodak against Apple and RIM is invalid and not infringed. Kodak pressed on nevertheless, arguing that all the digital cameras in these consumer electronic devices and smartphones were infringing Kodak’s patent and intellectual property for previewing images on digital camera-enabled devices. The Kodak patent covers the technology related to a method for previewing images.
Laura G. Quatela, chief intellectual property officer, and vice president, Eastman Kodak Company, says that Kodak has licensed digital imaging technology to approximately 30 companies, including such LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson, all of which are royalty bearing to Kodak. On Dec. 17, in an action involving Samsung and Kodak, an ITC Administrative Law Judge issued a ruling declaring that the Kodak patent covering color image preview (No. 6,292,218) was valid and enforceable, and that Samsung’s camera-enabled mobile devices infringed upon that Kodak patent.
The patents at issue in the second suit were previously the subject of litigation between Kodak and Sun Microsystems Inc., and in that case, a federal jury determined in a 2004 trial that Sun’s Java programming technology had infringed the patents. Kodak later settled the suit by agreeing to a payment from Sun in return for a license for the patents at issue. In both District Court actions against Apple, Kodak is seeking to permanently enjoin Apple from further infringement as well as unspecified damages.
— Dennis Sellers