The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has agreed to investigate allegations that the digital cameras in Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone infringe on patents held by Eastman Kodak.
In a Jan. 14, 2010 complaint, Kodak alleged that Research in Motion and Apple’s respective devices infringe on a patent for photo-viewing technology. Kodak requested that the Commission to issue a cease and desist order that would stop Apple and RIM from shipping their devices.
The Commission will set a target date for completing the investigation within 45 days. Patent cases can drag on for years so sales of BlackBerry devices and the iPhone are not in immediate danger of being banned.
Kodak won a dispute with Samsung in December 2010 when an ITC Judge ruled that Samsung had infringed upon its color image preview patent.
Kodak has also filed two separate lawsuits against Apple in a U.S. District Court that allege the company infringed patents covering image preview; the processing of images of different resolutions; and a method by which a computer program can “ask for help” from another application to carry out certain computer-oriented functions
The “help” patents were previously the subject of litigation between Kodak and Sun Microsystems in 2004, when a federal jury ruled in favor of Kodak.