Kodak has been in dire straits for more than a year. Ever since it filed for bankruptcy, it has been trying to somehow monetize its massive patent portfolio which covers a lot of digital imaging applications, a space which Kodak was a leader in.
It had sued a lot of mobile industry leaders like Apple, HTC, RIM and Samsung for patent infringement relating to the use of digital cameras in smartphones.
This week, it lost a patent case against Apple and Research in Motion, as the presiding judge ruled that the patent in question was invalid. The judge also ruled that neither Apple or RIM had violated any trade laws, and so no injunction could be enforced against the sale of any of their products.
The patent, which was related to previewing images with a digital camera, was one of Kodak’s most important patents. It has signed licensing deals for image previewing patents with multiple companies including Samsung and LG.
If the patent is indeed invalid, Kodak’s patent auction last month may fail, and it may not be able to raise the “billions of dollars” that it thinks its patent portfolio is worth.
Kodak has obviously stated that it will appeal the ruling. After all, its entire value depends on how much it can get from its patent portfolio now.