Kodak CEO Hopes for $1 Billion in Patent Suit

If photo pioneer Eastman Kodak wins its patent suit against Apple and Research in Motion (RIM), it could turn out to be worth more than $1 billion in royalties, the company’s CEO said Thursday.

Then Friday afternoon, there appeared to be a ray of hope, when the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said it would review an adverse administrative judge’s court ruling from January that had decided that Kodak’s (NYSE: EK) patent was not infringed.

In other words it’s not a slam dunk for Kodak, but the game is not up yet.

“This is a lot of money, big money,” Kodak’s CEO Antonio Perez told Bloomberg in an interview, Thursday.

“We deserve to win,” he added, referring to the more than 130-year-old firm’s patent portfolio.

Kodak sued Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) in January 2010 for what it claims is infringement of a patent it holds in the area of previewing images in iPhone and Blackberry mobile devices.

At the same time Kodak had also petitioned the ITC to consider banning importation of any products that use the allegedly infringed patent, a fairly common practice in patent litigation.

Friday, Bloomberg reported that the ITC had said it plans to review the judge’s findings that the two companies’ products don’t violate Kodak’s patent. A decision is expected in May.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

The case comes when it seems like every company in the mobile devices industry is suing a competitor for patent infringement.

For instance, in November, Microsoft sued Motorola for allegedly infringing its patents in phones that use Google Android.

Additionally, Apple sued HTC last March for allegedly violating some of its mobile patents.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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