Eastman Kodak, one of the grandaddies of photography, has lost key parts of its case against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other mobile device manufacturers where it claimed that their use of an image preview feature in the included digital camera functionality of those devices infringed its own patents.
Judge Paul Luckern the overseeing judge for the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has in effect dismissed the case by stating that both Apple and RIM’s implementations do not infringe on Kodak’s patents. This decision will be reviewed by a six man panel, but the decision is most likely going to stand.
Kodak claims that it developed the first digital camera back in 1975, and recently has been trying to leverage its patent portfolio as a way to earn revenue to grow its digital camera business, which seems to be suffering from all the competition as digital cameras become ubiquitous in pretty much all mobile devices these days. It seems they have waited too long to try and develop this market and are fighting an uphill battle. And this lawsuit seems to be a little but like slamming the barn door shut after the proverbial horse have bolted.
Unfortunately Apple has also filed a counter-suit against Kodak, a common move in these kinds of cases. But now that Kodak seems to have lost its claim it is certainly on the back foot, and faces at the very least more legal bills, rather than the chance of some income from its new rivals (which it presumably perceives as young upstarts) in the photographic arena.
Do you think this decision is fair? Have your say in the comments…