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Summary:

Apple’s performance in the market continues to be stellar, but its performance in the smartphone patent wars-which it had a hand in starting…

Smartphone
photo: Corbis

Apple’s performance in the market continues to be stellar, but its performance in the smartphone patent wars-which it had a hand in starting-continues to be mixed, at best. This week, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) had another setback, when the full International Trade Commission ruled that Kodak was found to not be infringing Apple’s patents.

Apple’s battle against Kodak has been a tit-for-tat of patent attacks and counter-attacks in both federal district courts and at the U.S. International Trade Commission. In this most recent ruling, the full five-commissioner ITC upheld a ruling by an ITC judge that Kodak was innocent of infringement. (All decisions by ITC judges are reviewed by the full five-member commission which oversees them.)

While it’s Apple’s complaint that has failed here, this particular patent fight was started by Kodak, which has been going after many phone manufacturers in court, arguing that their cameras infringe Kodak image-processing patents. According to a report in Reuters (NYSE: TRI) on Monday’s decision, Kodak expects to get $250 million to $350 million from patent licensing each year through 2013.

Apple’s loss against Kodak comes on the heels of Apple’s first real victory in the smartphone battles-a ruling late last week that Android-powered HTC phones infringe two Apple patents.

  1. Yep.. Apple won the ITC declaration against HTC,  and HTC owns S3 now, and the ITC has previously ruled that Apple is in violation of S3 patents.  check.

    End result is lawyers get richer and you can’t play the game unless you’re a giant company with a huge patent portfolio.  Thanks USA!

    Software patents are just dumb and it’s getting to the point that US companies won’t sell their own product in their own country anymore.

    IF the patent office wants to have software patents, they should fill their ranks with software professionals so they don’t make dumb uninformed decisions because it costs too much to have them invalidated if you are already in court against one.

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    1. FLORIAN MUELLER says:

      “It’s a common misconception that software patents are an exclusively American phenomenon and don’t exist in Europe. There are different definitions of what constitutes a software patent. My definition of software patents certainly includes the following nine European patents asserted by Apple in its lawsuits against Nokia in the UK and in Düsseldorf, Germany”

      http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/04/at-least-9-apple-patents-asserted.html

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