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3/28/2011
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Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Update On Apple's Patent Battles

Like any technology company, especially those in the wireless industry, Apple owns a number of patents. Apple is usually involved in a number of lawsuits involving their own patents or the patents of others that the owners claimed have been infringed upon. This week there is both good news and bad news for Apple.

Like any technology company, especially those in the wireless industry, Apple owns a number of patents. Apple is usually involved in a number of lawsuits involving their own patents or the patents of others that the owners claimed have been infringed upon. This week there is both good news and bad news for Apple.Apple appears to have won the lawsuit that claims Nokia has filed. Nokia charged Apple with infringing on five of its patents. An International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has just ruled that Apple didn't violate any of the patents. Nokia was not pleased with the decision - shocking I know. NetworkWorld has a quote from Nokia's management.

"While Nokia does not agree with today's initial determination that there has been no violation, we'll wait to see the full details of the ruling before we decide on any next steps," Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant stated.

That is the good news for Apple. Don't fret too much for Apple's patent attorneys though. There is plenty of work left. Bloomberg is reporting that another ITC judge may be opening the door for Kodak to add another billion dollars to its claim against Apple and RIM. Kodak won $550 million from Samsung and $414 million from LG for the same patent. The claim is Apple and the others have violated a patent Kodak holds for image previews on digital cameras.

Kodak has gone from a market cap of $24 billion in the latter part of the 1990's to around $914 million today. As film cameras went by the wayside and the film along with it, Kodak has seen its fortunes erode. For a company that now has $7 billion in revenue, getting $2 billion in suits like this is a huge win. We'll have to see how Apple and RIM respond.

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