Ruling awaited in Kodak patent battle with Apple

By the Associated Press | June 23, 2011 | 6:29 AM EDT

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — After years of wading through a tide of red ink, Eastman Kodak Co. is nearing the end of a potentially lucrative patent fight with tech giants Apple and Research in Motion Ltd.

The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington is expected to issue a ruling Thursday on Kodak's complaint that its 2001 image-preview patent was infringed by iPhone behemoth Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., and RIM of Canada, maker of the BlackBerry.

Kodak filed suit in January 2010 and is now trying to negotiate a licensing deal that CEO Antonio Perez estimates could be worth up to $1 billion.

The federal agency, which can order Customs to block imports of products made with contested technology, is seen as a fast-track mediator that typically resolves disputes inside 18 months.