updated 07:35 pm EDT, Wed August 3, 2011
ITC judge retires despite Kodak-Apple case
Kodak's complaint at the ITC against Apple and RIM was thrown into doubt as the Administrative Law Judge in the case, Paul Luckern, made a surprise move to retire. He has quit the agency as of Wednesday even with a review of a ruling due on August 30. Other judges will have to pick up from his work, the ITC said.
The exit could lead to a different ruling than what would have happened otherwise, both through the inclinations of the future judge as well as the knowledge of the case. Patent disputes such as these are often based on detailed claim constructions where a complete understanding of the interpretation is needed to know what may have been violated.
Judge Luckern had originally decided Apple and RIM weren't violating Kodak's imaging patents. Kodak successfully appealed and earned a review in the hopes of getting some violations to use in pressing for a settlement.
The camera pioneer may depend on a favorable ruling more than ever. Having already decided upon royalties and lawsuits as tools to compensate for its inability to compete in cameras, its spring results worsened as it hit $179 million in losses and saw its revenue shrink five percent over a year earlier to $1.49 billion. Kodak blamed the issue partly on a shortfall in the royalties it had planned to collect. [via WSJ]