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ITC judge sides with Kodak in Apple patent suit

A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Thursday that Eastman Kodak did not infringe upon digital-camera patents owned by Apple.

Judge Robert Rogers found one of Apple's patents invalid and pronounced that Kodak had infringed on neither of the two patents in Apple's case against the company, Bloomberg reports. Rogers' ruling will be reviewed by the six-member ITC, which can block the importation of products infringing on U.S. patents.

“We’re pleased by today’s ruling and we are looking forward to the full ITC commission’s ruling in our case against Apple and RIM, which is expected in late June,” Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo said in a statement.

Apple's case against Kodak was filed in April of last year as a countersuit to an earlier suit from the company. The iPhone maker alleged that Kodak had infringed on patents for a "Computer vision system for subject characterization" and "Modular digital image processing via an image processing chain with modifiable parameter controls."

Camera models listed in the complaint included the Z series, M series, C series, Kodak SLICE and several video cameras including the Zx3 PLAYSPORT.

Kodak sued Apple in January 2010, alleging that the company had infringed on a patent related to previewing images. After the ITC agreed to investigate Kodak's complaint, a judge ruled in favor of Apple earlier this year, stating that the claim that Kodak's patent was "an obvious variation of an earlier invention" was valid.

In March, the ITC announced that it would review the decision, which Kodak has said could be worth more than $1 billion in royalties.

Shares of Kodak have fallen sharply since the beginning of the year as investors expressed doubt over the company's revenue sources. As sales of traditional film products have dried up, the company has turned to its patent portfolio in hopes of earning royalties to fund the transition to digital imaging.

Kodak stock closed the day up 1 percent at $2.85, with shares jumping up 7 percent in after hours trading.