Trade Agency Judge Shuts Down Kodak's Patent Claim

This digital photography fad isn’t great for companies that built their empires on film, so Kodak seems to be grasping at legal straws to generate some revenue. The company filed a image-previewing patent claim to force smartphone makers such as Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Limited to pay it royalties. The United States International Trade Commission ruled that the phones don’t violate the patent.

The AP reports the ruling isn’t necessarily final. The agency’s commissioners have until May 23 to either change the preliminary ruling or let it remain in place.

Kodak, which is attempting to reinvent itself to focus on digital photography and inkjet printing, holds 1,000 digital imaging patents and has licensed its technology to 30 companies.

A Kodak lawyer remains optimistic:

“We fully expect the ITC commission will ultimately rule that the patent claim at issue is valid and infringed by Apple and RIM.

And I fully expect the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl next year.

Kodak patent complaint against Apple, RIM rejected [AP via Yahoo]