John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Kodak CEO Would Like “Big Money” From Apple and RIM, Please

The U.S. International Trade Commission hasn’t yet decided to review its determination that Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry don’t violate Kodak’s patent on an image-preview function in smartphones. But that hasn’t stopped Kodak Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez from slapping a cash value on the settlement that might result if it does.

$1 billion.

“This is a lot of money, big money,” Perez told Bloomberg, adding that his company “deserves to win.”

Problem is, it lost once already. An ITC judge ruled in January that Apple and RIM didn’t violate the patent at issue here and declared the patent invalid because it’s an obvious variation of an earlier invention.

Now, it’s certainly possible that the commission could overturn that ruling. And, if it does, it’s also possible that it could block imports of the infringing products, which would obviously be a big incentive for both Apple and RIM to settle. That’s what Samsung and LG did when Kodak sued them over the same patent.

But the commission hasn’t overturned the ruling. It hasn’t even decided whether to review it. And even if it does, Kodak itself is facing patent infringement charges from Apple and a suit from RIM challenging the validity of a number of its patents, including the one in the ITC case. Those suits will certainly complicate any potential royalty negotiations.

So it’s a bit premature for Perez to be offering a forecast on patent royalties, though it is doing wonders for Kodak’s share price, which at $3.44 is up about 10 percent on Perez’s bloviating. A nice little pop for a company that lost nearly half its market value last year.

Might want to take a picture of that, Kodak, it will probably last longer.