US Law Makers To Probe Apple, RIM Over Kodak Patents

The US International Trade Commission has announced that the agency will investigate the makers of the iPhone and BlackBerry smartphone after camera maker Kodak complained to the ITC that Apple and Research in Motion have incorporated its patented technology in the iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones.

Kodak, the company famous for its imaging and photographic equipments, said in its complaint to the ITC that Apple and RIM knowingly used Kodak-patented technology in the photo viewing feature available in the two popular families of smartphones.

Eastman Kodak has asked the US authority to ban Apple and RIM from selling the infringing smartphone models in the US. Kodak said in an officially released statement that before filing its complaint with the ITC, the company had been trying to resolve the issue 'amicably' by holding talks with both the companies.

However Kodak's requests fell on deaf ears and the company was forced to file a complaint with the ITC. When inquired about the investigation, both Apple and Research in Motion failed to comment on the issue.

The photo-viewing technology was at the root of a lawsuit between Kodak and Samsung Mobile, which was forced to comply with the courts ruling as it was established that Samsung' camera-enabled phones had infringed on Kodak patents.

Our Comments

We won't call Kodak a patent troll because of the nature of the claims and because Kodak is a recognised brand. Still for RIM and Apple to go down that way is not only risky but can also damage their brand image.

Related Links

US agency to investigate Blackberry and iPhone makers

(BBC)

Kodak claims against iPhone and BlackBerry makers to be probed by U.S. agency

(Democrat and Chronicle)

RIM, Apple get probed after Kodak complaint

(Tech Eye)

US ITC to investigate Apple and RIM

(The Inquirer)