The federal agency, which oversees trade disputes, said Thursday that it will now decide in one week on whether Kodak's 2001 image-preview patent was infringed on by iPhone behemoth Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., and Canada-based RIM, maker of the BlackBerry.
A favorable ruling for Kodak could force the smartphone giants into licensing deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Kodak has tenaciously protected its intellectual property.
It has amassed 11,000 patents, more than 1,000 of them in digital imaging. The technology is a key component in Kodak's survival in the digital age.