ITC judge finds key Kodak patent invalid in suit with Apple, RIM

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Kodak suffered a major setback on Monday as an initial ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that one of the company's key patents is invalid — a decision that could potentially reduce the value of Kodak's soon-to-be-auctioned patent portfolio.

The initial ruling was handed down by the ITC's Administrative Law Judge, which concluded that U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 is invalid. That means any potential infringement by Apple or Research in Motion would be meaningless, as the patent itself carries no weight, based on the initial decision.

Specifically, the judge determined to be invalid claim number 15 of the '218 patent, which is entitled "Method for Live View Display and Digital Camera Using Same." Kodak plans to appeal the decision to the full commission in hopes that the patent will be found valid, and that Apple and RIM are infringing.

The initial ITC decision is a major setback for Kodak, which has been hyping the value of its patent portfolio as being potentially worth billions of dollars. The photography pioneer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January of this year.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, Kodak must file an auction procedure by June 30. The company was hoping to find a "stalking horse" bidder for its portfolio of 1,100 patents by that time, but the ITC's initial decision could significantly reduce the value of Kodak's patent portfolio.

Officials at Kodak have been hoping for a stalking horse bid on the company's patent portfolio to maximize the value of its assets ahead of the bankruptcy auction process. Google made a $900 million stalking-horse bid for Nortel's patent portfolio last year, but the search giant lost out to a consortium of technology companies led by Apple, which paid $4.5 billion for the collection of more than 6,000 patents.

iPhone camera


The ITC's initial rejection of the validity of Kodak's '218 patent, which has been seen by some as the "crown jewel" of the photography company's patent portfolio, has cast doubt on whether Kodak will be able to secure a stalking horse bidder ahead of the June 30 deadline.

The ITC preliminary decision handed down on Monday found that Apple's iPhone 3G did in fact infringe on claim 15 of the '218 patent, though the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are not infringing products. The judge also determined that the accused RIM BlackBerry products also infringe on claim 15 of the '218 patent.

But those infringements mean nothing, as the judge also found that claim 15 of the '218 patent is invalid for "obviousness." As a result, neither Apple nor RIM were found to have committed patent infringement, because the patent in question was found invalid.

Kodak portrayed Monday's decision as a "preliminary step in a process" that it believes will ultimately end in the company's favor. It noted that a different judge in a previous decision found Kodak's '218 patent to be valid and infringed upon by Samsung.

"Kodak has invested billions of dollars to develop its pioneering digital imaging technology," the company said in a statement, "and we intend to protect these valuable assets."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Screen Shot 2012-05-16 at 11.48.57 PM.png

  • Reply 2 of 15
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    LL

    Heh! Funny, but at the same time, sad.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member


    It's sad for Kodak, it's like another nail in the coffin of a symbol of a whole era.

  • Reply 4 of 15
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member


    Stock is up over 6% today including After Hours Trading:


     


    Cook and Samsung CEO are doing the slow dance of compromise that will eventually say that Apple gets to use Samsung's FRAND patents, and Samsung has to figure out how not to use Apple's exclusive Look and Feel Patents (Win: Apple)


     


    Developers say "no big deal" to a new 4" form factor for a yet to be announced phone from Apple (Win: Apple)


     


    Apple and RIMM win a major patent decision over Kodak: (Win: Apple.  RIM: good news for once)


     


    Apple appears to have enough capacity in it's supplier pipeline for a yet to be announced phone  to have an LTE(Win: Apple)


     


    All the money on the FaceBook Sideline Comes back to Apple, in that people are starting to realize that Facebook is priced about 5X too much.  (Win: AAPL, and all other companies that actually have a profit growth plan).


     


    When was the last time any 500B+ capitalized company jump 6% (oh, about 300M in value) on a non financial news day?  


     


    I do love the 'small cap' nature of AAPL.  

  • Reply 5 of 15
    jhromerorjhromeror Posts: 46member


    That must have been a Kodak Moment grabbed by someone on an iPhone.

  • Reply 6 of 15
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    It would be more interesting if it weren't an ITC ruling. ITC seems to mostly get it wrong on patent issues.
  • Reply 7 of 15

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post).


     


    When was the last time any 500B+ capitalized company jump 6% (oh, about 300M in value) on a non financial news day?  


     


    I do love the 'small cap' nature of AAPL.  



     


    Wouldn't 6% mean an increase of 30 Billion in market cap today? An increase of basically the entire market cap of Yahoo and Nokia combined...

  • Reply 8 of 15
    mac.worldmac.world Posts: 340member
    [quote]"Kodak has invested billions of dollars to develop its pioneering digital imaging technology," the company said in a statement, "and we intend to protect these valuable assets."[/quote]
    Protect the valuable assets for whom exactly? The company that will own all its patents in a few months?
  • Reply 9 of 15
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member


    Kodak is dirty water circling the drain not even fit for drinking.  Sad.

  • Reply 10 of 15
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    "ITC judge finds key Kodak patent invalid in suit with Apple, RIM"


     


    World finds Kodak invalid.


     


    Bummer.

  • Reply 11 of 15
    waybacmacwaybacmac Posts: 309member


    <snip> …claim number 15 of the '218 patent, which is entitled "Method for Live View Display and Digital Camera Using Same."


     


    I wish the author of this patent-war article had given a brief explanation of what the heck this patent claims to do.  

  • Reply 12 of 15
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    waybacmac wrote: »

    Look at the second paragraph. See where the patent number is listed? Notice that it is blue (on at least some computers). Click on it and it will take you to the patent. Or if that doesn't work, use the patent number to search uspto.gov.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    wshuff4wshuff4 Posts: 44member


    Is this the patent that Apple claims to own?

  • Reply 14 of 15
    waybacmacwaybacmac Posts: 309member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Look at the second paragraph. See where the patent number is listed? Notice that it is blue (on at least some computers). Click on it and it will take you to the patent. Or if that doesn't work, use the patent number to search uspto.gov.


    Thank you for the tip. I did what you suggested and that answered my question. That is, now I know why the article's author didn't try to explain the patent. Somehow I don't think the original explanation was written in English.


     


    BTW, do you happen to know if the US Patent Office approves submissions on the basis of characters typed per linear foot?

  • Reply 15 of 15
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member


    The Patent Office is under a tremendous workload. A few years ago they even went so as to state that there were any number of patents that were, in the parlance of the trade, "improvidently awarded" (meaning they should not have been awarded) and instituted a limited in-house review.


     


    It is about time that a court has declared the obvious...that the idea patented was obvious and hence was and is unpatentable. There are a lot of patents running around out there which are equally obvious...such as the slide to unlock patent held by Apple. You simply can not patent gravity and, if it were patentable, it would have been patentable a long time ago by a fellow named Newton.


     


    It is sad to see what has become of Kodak, but the warning signs have been around for a long time and the company failed to adapt to the current circumstance.

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