ITC Victory for Smartphone Makers Sends Kodak Shares into a Nosedive

On Thursday, the U.S. International Trade Commission did not grant Eastman Kodak Co. a victory in its patent dispute with Apple and Research in Motion.

Consequently, Kodak’s shares plummeted 16%.

In early 2010, Kodak first accused Apple and the BlackBerry maker of infringing a patent related to ways of previewing images.

Although Apple responded with a lawsuit of its own, on May 12th, a judge with the US International Trade Commission determined that Apple did not have a case to make in terms of the company’s assertion that Kodak infringed upon the Cupertino, California tech giant’s camera-related patents.

This week, it has come to light that the ITC seems to think Kodak doesn’t have a case either.

The six-member commission agreed three months ago to review the case after an ITC judge first concluded Kodak’s patent hadn’t been violated. Last night, the commission concurred and upheld that initial ruling.

According to the WSJ, the case has now been directed back to the administrative law judge, who gets another 60 days to further evaluate and consider the matter.

Analysts have long worried that Kodak’s effort to cash in on its patent portfolio could start to run dry and have criticized Chief Executive Antonio Perez for not making its core businesses profitable sooner. Kodak had $1.3 billion in cash on hand at the end of March, down from $1.6 billion three months earlier.

In recent months, Kodak has attempted to profit from lawsuits relating to intellectual property to that it can create new divisions and businesses within the company.