Kodak Loses Patent Case Against Apple, RIM

Eastman Kodak Co. has lost a patent case against Apple Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd., dealing a blow to the onetime film giant’s efforts to raise billions of dollars by selling off its intellectual property.

Kodak filed a complaint against the iPhone and BlackBerry makers at the U.S. International Trade Commission in early 2010, saying their devices infringed on its patent for previewing images with a digital camera. Late Friday, the commission dismissed the complaint, upholding a finding by one of its judges that the patent was invalid.

As such, the commission concluded that neither Apple nor RIM had violated trade laws that could have led to an injunction halting imports of their products. Since the patent at issue was one of Kodak’s most valuable, the ruling raises fresh questions about how much money the company, now in Chapter 11, can raise from an auction that is expected to conclude next month.

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