Kodak’s legal challenge against Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) at the International Trade Commission (ITC) could drag on for months after the agency agreed Tuesday to give additional time for the case to be assigned to a new judge.
The judge originally in charge of the case, Paul Luckern, retired in early August just weeks before he was expected to give a key decision on the complaint.
The ITC decided yesterday to allow the interim acting judge on the case, Charles Bullock, until Oct. 30 to get a new judge in place and permanently re-assign the case. The permanent judge will then have additional time to issue a decision on the ITC’s partial reversal of Luckern’s initial decision, pushing a final judgment out for months.
Luckern ruled in January that Apple and RIM had not violated Kodak’s image previewing patents, but an ITC panel later dismissed part of the decision. Luckern was expected to issue a new ruling on the appeal verdict on Aug. 30, but left his post before he filed his decision.
Apple has filed a countersuit against Kodak that charged the camera maker with violating its image processing patents. An initial ruling in the case found that one of Apple’s patents was invalid and that Kodak had not infringed on the other two patents, but the ITC has yet to issue a final verdict.