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Trade court rules for Kodak in patent fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co has won a preliminary fight with Samsung Electronics, which the camera giant had accused of infringing its digital camera patents.

An International Trade Commission judge ruled after an administrative proceeding that Samsung had infringed two Kodak patents, the ITC said on Friday.

Kodak shares closed 13 cents higher at $4.11, up 3.3 percent for the day on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We are gratified that the judge recognized the validity and infringement of the digital camera patents at issue," Kodak said in a statement.

"We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating this technology, and we have an obligation to our shareholders and other licensees to protect that investment," the company said.

Samsung could not immediately be reached for comment.

Kodak had initially filed suit against Samsung and LG Electronics and their subsidiaries in November 2008, saying the digital cameras in LG and Samsung telephones were made with technology that Kodak had patented.

Under terms of a settlement with LG, Kodak said it would sell LG its super-thin OLED screen technology. The companies will share patents. Unlike LED screens, organic light emitting diodes require no backlighting, making screens thinner and less power hungry.

The judge's decision now goes to the full commission, which will decide whether to uphold the ruling.

The ITC is a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it can bar the importation of devices made with infringing technology. If the ITC orders an import ban, that order would go into full effect only after a standard 60-day executive branch review. The executive branch rarely overturns the ITC's decisions.

During this review period, the banned goods can be imported but only if the importer posts a bond equal to 100 percent of the value of the imports.

The case before the International Trade Commission is 337-TA-663.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Richard Chang, Gary Hill)

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