U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper ruled on Thursday that Apple does not have ownership of two of the patents that fallen photography giant Kodak plans to sell at the end of this month.
In his ruling, Judge Gropper said Apple took too long to assert its ownership claims in a suit Kodak brought against the Cupertino company for allegedly trying to disrupt a patent sell off scheduled for next week, reports Bloomberg.
Kodak gained approval to sell over 1,000 of its patents under terms of bankruptcy agreements. However, Apple claimed ownership of some of the imaging technology the two companies invented while partnering to develop the QuickTake digital camera.
Thursday’s decision is a partial victory for Kodak, as it would have been forced to delay its patent sale.
“If Apple’s claims proceed despite their unreasonably delayed commencement, Kodak might have to go back to the drawing board for ways to fund its case,” Judge Gropper wrote in Thursday’s ruling.
The judge denied Kodak’s motions for summary judgements on the remaining eight claims, but said a follow-up request could be allowed if the company comes up with a “more complete record.”
Apple has reportedly joined with Microsoft in bidding for Kodak’s patent portfolio, and they are expected to go up against a group of corporations led by Google, Samsung, HTC, and LG.
Apple recently lost their bid to move the court proceedings out of bankruptcy court and into a New York district court. That transfer would have hindered Kodak’s patent auction.