In its heyday, Kodak controlled more than 90% of the US film market, and 85% of all camera sales. But a lot can change in 35 years, and unfortunately, time has not been kind to the Rochester, New York company.
Kodak is currently in the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and looking to sell off its patent portfolio in hopes to restructure its business. But as it turns out, those patents may not be worth as much as it thinks they are…
The US International Trade Commission (or ITC) upheld a previous ruling on Friday, stating that Kodak’s patent infringement claims are invalid, and has dismissed the case.
“The trade body’s six commissioners agreed with a recent decision from an ITC Administrative Law Judge who in May concluded the patent to be invalid. Kodak first asserted U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 for “Method for Live VIew Display and Digital Camera Using Same” against Apple and the BlackBerry maker in 2010 as devices from both companies allegedly used “live view” technology purportedly covered by the ‘218.”
This is a major setback for Kodak, who had previously said that the ‘218 patent was among the strongest in its portfolio. In fact, it was hoping the ‘218 would help drive up the price of its upcoming IP auction. But after this ruling, its goal of raising $2.6 billion seems well out of reach.
At least this is one less patent case that Apple has to worry about (unless Kodak somehow wins an appeal). Among several other ongoing lawsuits, the Cupertino company is set to face off against Samsung next week, in a highly-anticipated patent trial.