Apple and Research In Motion can now intervene in Kodak's efforts to reinstate its patent case against the two tech giants, which was tossed by the U.S. International Trade Commission earlier this year.
In a court order (pdf) posted last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said both Apple and RIM could intervene in the case, in which Kodak accused the two companies of infringing on its patents.
The decision means both companies can participate in Kodak's appeal and defend the products accused of infringement.
Kodak originally filed its complaint against the two technology companies on January 14, 2010, alleging that they infringed on U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218, which covers image previewing technology for cameras. Kodak sought to get smartphones from both companies blocked from entering the U.S., arguing that their cameras made use of image previewing technology covered in the patent.
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Last January, an administrative law judge at the ITC found no violation of the patent, a decision that was upheld in a ruling in late July. Following the ruling, the ITC dismissed the complaint and said Kodak's patent was invalid, leading Kodak to file an appeal.
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. The company is required to sell off some of its intellectual property collection as part of a $950 million loan it received from Citigroup to keep it up and running in the interim. But that process has stalled.
In a filing last week, Kodak said is "continuing to explore other alternatives with respect to the digital imaging patents and their intellectual property more broadly and may not reach acceptable terms with parties via the auction process."