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Kodak prompts ITC to consider iPhone ban

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The US International Trade Commission has launched another investigation into Apple, and RIM, this time prompted by Kodak's accusations of patent infringements.

The new investigation into Apple follows one prompted by Nokia, which was launched in December last year. This time Research In Motion is in the frame too, with both companies under the threat of a ban on being able to sell their handsets in the USA.

The complaint alleges that the iPhone and Blackberry devices infringe various Kodak patents around previewing images, and Kodak is already pursuing both companies though the US courts for royalties on those patents. The ITC can also prevent the iPhone and Blackberry being sold in the US - which would hurt the companies much more than the most protracted patent case.

Once an initial hearing has been held, the ITC allows itself 45 days to create a schedule for the investigation, but a ruling can be expected within a year - fast compared to patent spats that can last decades. ®

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