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Kodak loses patent dispute

Apple and RIM might sink the company 

Kodak has lost an appeal of a patent dispute over digital image preview technology with Apple and Research In Motion which could potentially sink the company.

The camera maker is in bankruptcy but hoped to save itself by flogging off its patents and by enforcing one against Jobs' Mob and Apple. Kodak estimated that the pair owed it a billion dollars which would have helped it solve its bankruptcy problems.
However the U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday upheld a May 21 ruling by Judge Thomas Pender of that agency 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 plans an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. It said that the validity of the '218 patent has been upheld in previous litigation at the ITC and was affirmed by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office in the face of two separate challenges.

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.

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