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What: Shares of photograph pioneer Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK ) were spotted jumping for joy today, gaining as much as 13% in intraday trading on heavy volume.
So what: Eastman Kodak investors are waiting breathlessly today for a decision from the U.S. International Trade Commission on whether to review a judge's ruling on Kodak's patent suit against Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) and Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) . Kodak alleges that phones from the two companies violate a patent on for previewing images. In January a judge ruled against Kodak, but there are obviously high hopes that the ITC will decide today to review that ruling. According to Bloomberg, Kodak CEO Antonio Perez sees the potential for $1 billion in royalty payments if the ITC rules in its favor.
Now what: Obviously a favorable ruling in this case doesn't fix the problems at Eastman Kodak. To a large extent it's still a buggy-whip company trying to adapt to the age of autos. However, the company has been using its royalty income to help fund its push into products other than camera film. Adding a fresh $1 billion to that revenue stream would give the company a bunch of extra firepower in its efforts.
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