Eastman Kodak Co has lost an appeal of a patent dispute over digital image preview technology with Apple and Research In Motion, which could set back the onetime photography giant’s efforts to raise money in bankruptcy by selling patents.
The US International Trade Commission on Friday upheld a 21 May ruling that neither Apple nor RIM had violated Kodak’s rights in the so-called ’218 patent, which covers how digital cameras preview images.
“The investigation is thus terminated,” the agency said.
Kodak has been hoping to recover $1 billion, and said on Sunday it plans an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.
“The validity of the ’218 patent has been upheld in previous litigation at the ITC and was affirmed by the US Patent and Trade Office in the face of two separate challenges,” it said. “We are confident that its validity will ultimately be upheld.”
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors on 19 January. Patent litigation has in recent years been a major part of the Rochester, New York-based company’s strategy to generate revenue.
Last month, Kodak won bankruptcy court permission to sell more than 1,100 digital imaging patents, roughly one-tenth of its patent portfolio, to help repay creditors as it shifts its business focus toward printing.
These patents are part of Kodak’s digital-capture portfolio for devices such as digital cameras, smartphones and tablets. That portfolio has generated more than $3 billion in revenue since 2001.
Kodak has said it expects to hold the auction early next month.
Shares of Kodak closed Friday at 26 cents on the Pink Sheets.