Kodak shares tumble as investors react to different interpretations of ITC ruling

Who has it right with respect to reporting the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling in the Kodak v. Apple and RIM patent infringement action?  The AP’s early report said it was a huge setback for Kodak, and its shares dropped precipitously (16%). (Later, AP issued a retraction.)  Digital Trends saw it as bad news for Kodak. GIZMOCRAVE, a technology blog, was still reporting the “bad” news yesterday, though they included an inconsistent, upbeat quote from Kodak. Motley Fool suggested the ruling was primarily bearish, and speculated the chances Kodak will recover their $1B objective seems remote. (At least Fool didn't fall into the AP trap of thinking it was all over.)

There is a lot riding on this case: the very existence of Kodak as we know it. Yesterday’s technology leader in film (see “buggy whips”) appears now to be major-league dependent upon licensing revenues. Many eyes are on this case.  Kodak saw the ruling differently, as does IPBlog.

A press release issued by the company carried this headline: ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 30 -- ITC Commission Issues Favorable Ruling in Kodak Patent Case Against Apple and RIM 

Kodak had asked ITC for refinement of terms and definitions used by an ITC judge in an unfavorable ruling (to Kodak) and appealed that judge’s patent invalidity ruling. The ITC made the modifications and sent it back to the judge for reconsideration, with a target date for a final ruling set for August 30.  (Kodak also is pursuing infringement claims in federal court in two separate jurisdictions, and has ongoing license revenue streams on the patent in suit and others with many technology players.)