The decision, based on an initial determination by USITC chief administrative law judge Paul J. Luckern, isn't the final say on the matter, and could be overturned by the ITC's commissioners before a May 23rd deadline. As it stands though, Luckern -- an alumnus of Eastman Kodak himself -- has suggested that because it is an obvious variation of an earlier invention, the patent in question is invalid.
In an earlier case defending claimed infringement of the same patent by Korea's Samsung and LG Electronics, the ITC found in Kodak's favor, resulting in licensing deals totaling some US$964 million with the two companies.
The patent in question is said to relate to products which can offer a low-resolution preview of a moving image, while capturing still images of the scene at higher resolution, and if valid would seem applicable to the vast majority of digital cameras and camera phones. If the initial ruling is overturned, it could result in an order that all Apple iPhones and RIM Blackberry phones containing cameras be barred from entry to the United States, pending an agreement between the companies involved.
More details can be found in articles from The Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg.