In January, a judge found that Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry do not violate a Kodak patent for image previewing; however, at 5 p.m. today, the ITC will announce whether it will review that decision.
Kodak used the ITC to gain $550 million from Samsung and $414 million from LG for allegedly infringing the same patent as in the Apple and RIM cases. The ITC is a quasi-judicial arbiter of trade disputes that can block imports of products found to infringe U.S. patents. While the agency can't order monetary damages, the threat of being shut out of the U.S. market often provides the incentive for settlements, notes Bloomberg.
"It would be important for Kodak to get a favorable ruling on this matter because most of its operating businesses lose money whereas intellectual property royalties go directly to the bottom line," said Jim Kelleher, an analyst at Argus Research in New York.