Another Kodak Moment: ITC Agrees to Investigate Apple, RIM
The U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate claims that Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry infringe on Kodak’s intellectual property. At issue here: Two patents generally covering image preview and processing, which Kodak claims have been used illegitimately in the iPhone and BlackBerry. At stake for Apple (AAPL) and RIM (RIMM): A ban on imports of both devices.
In announcing the investigation, the ITC made it clear that it has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. But the fact that it has agreed to pursue it at all must be worrisome to both companies, particularly since the agency ruled in Kodak’s (EK) favor last year in another case against Samsung involving the same patents. Ultimately, that squabble resulted in a settlement and cross-licensing deal. My guess is that things will play out in a similar manner here.