Trade judge rules against Apple's Kodak complaint

One administrative law judge of the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that Kodak did not infringe Apple patents in its cameras, possibly setting the stage for dismissal of a complaint by Apple.

Apple filed a complaint with the ITC last April, saying Kodak had infringed two of its patents and asking the agency to bar Kodak from importing products containing the technology into the U.S. Around the same time, it also filed a lawsuit against Kodak. Apple claimed the company used a patented unified memory architecture and a modular digital imaging technology in several of its cameras.

Kodak is not free and clear in the case just yet. The final ruling on the trade complaint will need to come from all six ITC judges and is not expected until next month.

“We’re pleased by this ruling and we are looking forward to the full ITC Commission’s decision in our case against Apple and RIM, which is expected in late June,” Kodak said in a prepared statement.

Apple’s legal actions last year followed a lawsuit that Kodak filed in January 2010 against Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. That action, still pending, charged the two companies with violating patents involved in providing image previews on mobile phones. Kodak has estimated winning that case could lead to $1 billion in royalty revenue from the phone makers. Samsung and LG already pay Kodak royalties on the technology.

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