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What: Shares of film expert Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK) were snapping views from the bottom of a cliff today as shares fell as much as 15% on heavy volume.

So what: It's no secret that the film business isn't what it used to be, so Kodak has been using its hefty portfolio of patents in recent years to help fund its transition to new, 21st century businesses. Unfortunately, the company hit a roadblock today in the form of U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Paul Luckern, who said that phones from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) don't violate Kodak's patent and, furthermore, that the patent is invalid.

Now what: Not surprisingly, Kodak doesn't agree with the finding, and it actually does have a bit of history on its side: It has already won respective settlements of $550 million and $400 million from Samsung and LG Electronics over the same patents. There's still hope for Kodak investors since this is only considered the "initial determination recommendation" and is not yet a final ruling. But unfortunately for investors with an itch for instant gratification, the final decision on the matter isn't due until late May.

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