updated 05:55 pm EDT, Fri October 28, 2011
Kodak clears judge shakeup on ITC fight with Apple
Kodak saw its attempt to force Apple and RIM into settlements renewed on Friday after the ITC replaced the recently retired judge that stalled the case. Judge Thomas Pender will rule on December 30 regarding Kodak's claims that iPhone and BlackBerry technology violate imaging patents. Its ruling is preliminary and won't see a final decision until 2012, when an ITC panel decides if the verdict should be upheld.
The camera designer has been taking an increasingly urgent tone in its patent cases. Having originally tried to treat royalties as a business instead of competing on products, the company has reached the point where it may want to lean on royalties to stay afloat. Leaks have suggested it may call for $900 million in emergency funding to stay above water.
Once intending to use its patents solely as a weapon against other companies, Kodak has dropped hints that it was willing to sell some of those same patents for short-term funding instead of long-term royalties. Among the rumored buyers have been Apple and Google, who would have been at least indirectly affected.
Kodak has already extracted royalties from LG and Samsung, although they preempted their cases by choosing to settle rather than risk a ban.