On May 21, 2012, the U.S. International Trade Commission’s Judge Thomas Pender issued a notice in the patent infringement battle brought by Eastman Kodak against Apple, Inc. and Research In Motion, Ltd. The decision noted that Apple and RIM infringed upon one of the claims in Kodak’s digital capture patent, but that Kodak’s patent was invalid because of the “obviousness” of claim 15 of the patent. As such, Apple and RIM did not violate 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(1) with respect to Kodak’s patent.
The patent at issue is entitled, ”Electronic Camera for Initiating Capture of Still Images While Previewing Motion Images,” and covers digital image-preview technology, where a camera phone previews low-resolution versions of an image while recording the images at a high resolution. According to Bloomberg,
The disputed patent, which Kodak claims is used in all modern cameras, covers a feature that previews low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at a high resolution. Higher resolution requires more processing power and storage space. Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. (066570) have already paid $964 million in settlements to Kodak for using the technology.
Pender said that the aspect of the patent that was in the case covered an obvious variation of earlier inventions. He did say that, were it valid, BlackBerry devices and the Apple iPhone 3G would infringe it, while the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 do not.
A different judge at the agency found the patent valid and infringed by Samsung, “whose products are similar to those offered by Apple and RIM,” Lynch said. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also took a second look at the patent and upheld it in December 2010, Kodak said.