Kodak wins round as ITC to review $1 billion Apple, RIM patent dispute

“Eastman Kodak Co. won the latest round in its patent dispute with Apple Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd., a victory with the potential to generate more than $1 billion in new licensing revenue for the camera company,” Susan Decker and Chris Burritt report for Bloomberg.

“Kodak rose as much as 25 percent in late trading after the U.S. International Trade Commission said it will review a judge’s findings from January that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry don’t violate Kodak’s patent on a way to preview digital images using less processing power and storage space,” Decker and Burritt report. “The ITC, which can block imports of products that violate U.S. patents, plans to make a final determination by May 23.”

“Kodak, the 131-year-old company that popularized photography with the Brownie and Instamatic cameras, may be able to extract $1 billion from Apple and RIM should it win the case, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez said in an interview yesterday,” Decker and Burritt report. “His figure was based on the combined $964 million received from settlements reached with Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. over the same patent.”

Decker and Burritt report, “The patent covers a feature that previews low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at a high resolution. Higher resolution requires more processing power and storage space. Kodak, which generated $838 million from patents last year, contends the image-preview feature is used in every digital camera and phone with a camera.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. In a post analog world, Kodak can live out the rest of its days sitting on the front porch collecting royalties from its IP. Not bad work if you can get it.

    However, if that’s all they intend to do, they’ll be just like a senior citizen living on a fixed income and who knows how long before companies like Apple develops their own proprietary processes and Kodak goes the way of the Brownie?

    Kodak used to be so full of life! They brought us Kodachrome!

    Give us those nice bright colors and greens of summer….
    Makes you think all the world is a sunny day. Paul Simon

  2. The MDN/Apple hypocrites strike again. Everything that goes against Apple is wrong and meaningless. When Apple moves to protect its IP, the defendants are considered evil.

    Get some balance people. You look foolish being blind followers.

    Sent from my (IP violating) iPhone

    1. You have a phenomenal ability to read bias into an MDN item that has none What. So. Ever. Read it again. Maybe a third time? Fourth? Fanboys live for the best of the MDN Takes, which this lacks. It is a straightforward presentation of a news Item related to Apple and Kodak. Let’s face it, this industry is full of patent issues, For all we know, and we know nothing, Apple and Kodak may have failed to reach a royalty payment deal on this, so it lands in court. I am a huge fan of both companies, and fault neither — and especially not MDN — in this instance. In fact, such disputes reinforce the wisdom, opposite the rampant greed of some analysts and stockholders, of Apple’s huge cash holdings. Imagining bias here reminds me of the rantings of the extreme right: after years of coddling by the provably Unfair and Imbalanced hacks of Fox News, they accuse anyone who presents a truly balanced report of bias.
      — written with my (possibly patent-violating iPhone 4. My iPad 2 is nearby. It also rocks.)

      1. Thyroid,

        We don’t need a snide MDN take here. If you’ve been on this board any longer than a week, you know they would never post a take that would be anti-Apple in any way. Of course, it’s their site and they can do what they want to get hits. Fine. But don’t get sanctimonious with me trying to imply things here are anything but shallow and one-sided. I simply acknowledge it, but am called a troll by the blind followers.


        1. Well I’ll certainly call you a biased troll. There is absolutely nothing in the report that hints at MDN bias. It’s a straightforward reporting of the facts. Anti-Apple facts, by the way.

          I’ve never found the MDN site shallow. If it’s a piece of pro-Apple news, they report it with gusto. Why not? If it’s anti-Apple, they still report it. If they feel like labelling the source as moronic, they do that too, because mostly they’re right.

          Today, it’s my turn to label you moronic and biased.

        2. DrNudeTX,

          If YOU’VE been on this board longer than a week, you would recall MDN posts that have been hypercritical of Apple. Chief among them are the posts taking issue with the company’s handling of the US demand for the iPad 2. Of course, that item was, like, five days ago and thus before your
          time. There have been plenty of others. And many posts that have been heavily biased in Apple’s favor. You managed to randomly select an utterly neutral article. By applying a tiny amount of analytical thinking, however challenging that may be, you can find MDN items to support your thesis. I promise.

    2. @DrTxDude……the article doesn’t call Kodak evil. I don’t think anyone would blame them for trying to protect IP that is rightly theirs. I think Apple fans do have less patience though with companies that have stopped innovating (Kodak or Nokia) and pursue IP lawsuits as a source of revenue. Apple protects IP while they’re creating the next revolution. Case in point…..you bought an iPhone.

      1. Rick James,

        Yeah, I have an iPhone, 4 of them in my house. There are 4 Macs here as well. We love Apple products. But it’s shallow-minded people that claim Apple is the only company innovating that make my point.

        Talking about all the good stuff Apple does is one thing. Being hypocritical by claiming they never do wrong is moronic.

        Flame away.

    3. All that happened is that the “…U.S. International Trade Commission said it will review a judge’s findings from January…” That ruling was in Apple’s favor, and that precedent holds weight.

      By the way, DrDudeTX, congratulations on finally getting it! You finally understand what MDN is all about.

  3. The ITC agreeing to review something means virtually nothing. All they are saying is, “We’ll look into it.” Easily 90% of the time they review something the outcome is absolutely no action at all. Nothing.

    Could the ITC find something that is in Kodak’s favor? Yes. Is it likely — especially since the courts have already ruled otherwise? No.

  4. I wouldn’t celebrate too much if I were Kodak. ITC Commission agrees with the findings of its Staff and Administrative Law Judge the majority of the times. So, the odds are still very much against Kodak since the findings in this case are against Kodak.

  5. Kodak market cap could be less than the payout should Apple and lose the next round. You would think a appellate court would be higher on the totem pole than the USITC.

  6. The market cap of Kodak is around $900 million. The cost to buy would probably be around 1.3x that number. The company has a large patent portfolio, including CCD chips, that has significant value. It wouldn’t be a completely crazy move by Apple to buy Kodak, take what it needs and sell the rest.

  7. It’s very premature to talk about how much Apple pays or buys Kodak to avoid paying since both ITC staff and Administrative Law Judge have found in favor of Apple.

    Don’t forget Apple has filed an ITC complaint against Kodak. It’s entirely feasible that Kodak ends up paying Apple for its violation and declares bankruptcy to avoid paying.

  8. Kodak came late to the digital image party, like all the camera makers. This patent is pure BS, they just happened to patent what was obvious at the time.


    1. You are TOTALLY wrong. Kodak was at the very FRONT of digital imaging. That is a fact. They spent BILLIONS on R & D developing the hightest performing CCD sensors, etc. Kodak BEAT Canon and Nikon to the full frame SLR camera market.

      Problem was, no matter what, Kodak’s digital business could NEVER replace their massive film business and so they had no choice but to shrink.

      But the fact remains, Kodak at one point was far far in the lead of digital imaging.

  9. I used to work for Kodak when their stock was at $52. Check them out now. This is a company that gutted itself with Marketing-As-Management and its fallout. Now they are in cannot-compete-mode:

    When you can’t innovate: Litigate.

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