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Apple Patent Litigation Updates: Kodak and MONKEYmedia

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) yesterday announced that it has agreed to investigate claims made by Apple last month against Kodak over alleged patent infringement.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain digital imaging devices and related software. The products at issue in this investigation are digital still cameras, digital video cameras, and related software.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Apple Inc., f/k/a Apple Computer, Inc., of Cupertino, CA, on April 15, 2010. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of digital imaging devices and related software that infringe patents asserted by Apple. The complainants request that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

Apple filed the complaint in response to lawsuits and ITC complaints filed by Kodak against Apple and Research in Motion back in January. The ITC agreed in February to investigate those complaints.

Meanwhile, former user interface design studio MONKEYmedia yesterday announced that it has filed a patent lawsuit against Apple alleging infringement of three of its patents. MONKEYmedia CEO Eric Bear also took the opportunity to echo the words of Apple CEO Steve Jobs from the press release announcing that Apple had filed suit against HTC in early March.

MONKEYmedia today filed a lawsuit against Apple, Inc. for infringing claims in three of MONKEYmedia's Seamless Contraction patents. Apple's infringement involves its user interfaces for document summarization, RSS readers and video players that can display multiple versions of text and/or audiovisual content. The lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Texas - Austin Division.

"We can sit by and watch Apple continue to use our patented inventions without paying, or we can do something about it," said Eric Bear, MONKEYmedia's CEO. "Synergy between inventors and manufacturers is healthy, and we love that Apple believes in our technology. We simply prefer open communications and fair compensation."

MONKEYmedia exited the user interface design business in 2001 and since that time has been focused on leveraging its patent portfolio.