The U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday said it will launch an investigation into whether Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry infringe on a Kodak patent.
Eastman Kodak filed a complaint on January 14, alleging that the systems used to preview images on Apple's and RIM's smart phones infringe on the iconic former film manufacturer's patent.
"In the case of Apple and RIM, we've had discussions for years with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue amicably, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement," said Laura Quatela, Kodak's chief intellectual property officer, in a statement issued at the time of Kodak's original complaint. "In light of that, we are taking this action to ensure that we protect the interests of our shareholders and the existing licensees of our technology."
The USITC made clear in its Wednesday announcement that it has yet to make "any decision on the merits of the case." The USITC said it would attempt to complete its investigation as quickly as possible. Kodak has asked the commission for cease and desist orders that would block the iPhone and BlackBerry from being imported into the U.S. unless it can work out a settlement with Apple and RIM.