The International Trade Commission on Monday upheld a decision by one of its judges that Eastman Kodak did not infringe Apple Inc patents for digital cameras.
Apple had filed a complaint with the ITC in May 2010, accusing Kodak of infringing patents for making digital cameras and related software. The ITC administrative law judge said two months ago that Kodak did not infringe the patents.
Kodak's share price has been volatile on patent suits, and briefly rose more than 5 percent after the ruling in after-hours trading before paring those gains. The stock closed 8 percent lower at $2.52 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
The ITC is also considering a Kodak suit against Apple and Research in Motion. Kodak, in its complaint filed in January 2010, argued that Apple's iPhone and RIM's camera-enabled Blackberry infringed on a Kodak patent related to a method for previewing images.
There are also patent lawsuits between the two in district courts.
Investors have been watching Kodak's patent infringement suits against digital camera makers closely, hoping for major settlements.
We are pleased that the commission has confirmed the ALJ's finding that there is no violation by Kodak, said Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo.
Apple declined to comment.
Kodak settled similar patent disputes with LG Electronics Inc and Samsung Electronics in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The two South Korean consumer electronics makers agreed to pay Kodak $400 million and $550 million, respectively, to license its technology.
Many investors see Kodak's value in its lucrative patent portfolio. It has more than 1,000 patents and it made an estimated $630 million in 2010 from its licenses, according to Argus Research.
Kodak expects to generate $250 million to $350 million in revenue each year through 2013 from licensing.
Companies that allege their patents have been infringed generally sue in district courts to win financial damages and also at the ITC, which can bar infringing products from being imported into the United States.
The complaint at the International Trade Commission is No. 337-717.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Liana Baker; Editing by Carol Bishopric and Richard Chang)