ITC to probe Apple, RIM over patent violation

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The US International Trade Commission has said it will investigate Apple and RIM  for patent violation, following a complaint from Kodak.

Kodak says that the iPhone and Blackberry infringe its patents for picture preview technology, and has asked the ITC to halt shipments of the smartphones. It says the infringement goes back as far as 2001.

When it filed the original complaint, Kodak said it had tried to settle the matter out of court.

"In the case of Apple and RIM, we've had discussions for years with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue amicably, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement," said Laura Quatela, Kodak's chief intellectual property officer.

It's already been successful in similar cases against Samsung and LG Electronics. The two companys currently pay royalties to Kodak for digital imaging technology, as do a number of other handset makers.

Kodak has filed two separate lawsuits against Apple, claiming it infringes patents for technology that allows programs to 'ask each other for help', as well as image preview and image size functions.

Apple's already under investigation from the ITC following allegations of patent violation from Nokia.