Kodak News; May 21 – 25

History in the making…

The main news this week for Kodak was a legal proceeding but not from the bankruptcy court. Instead it was from an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) of the International Trade Commission (ITC). He gave his initial determination in the suit that both Apple and Research In Motion Limited (RIM) infringed on a single Kodak patent. That patent is about how images are previewed on a digital camera enabled device. The ALJ concluded that the Apple iPhone 3G and RIM BlackBerry devices infringed on Kodak’s patent, but his recommendation is that the Kodak patent claim is invalid due to its “obviousness.”

Kodak’s stock price drop dramatically. At the start of the week it was floating around 27 cents per share. After the ITC report on Monday the stock price was close to 18 cents per share and stayed there all week. There are some important points to mention. First, this was an initial ruling and it said that Kodak’s patent had been infringed. As far as the patent is concerned, the same patent was upheld in a previous suit against Samsung. The final decision on this patent case is due September 21st.

Kodak is still trying to sells about 1,100 digital patents. Estimates of the value of those patents were from 1 to 3 billion dollars. The news of this patent suit may make those other patents worth less.