ITC Opens Second Apple Investigation In Three Weeks

First, Nokia successfully got the ITC to investigate Apple over patent infringement claims. Now the regulatory body has taken Kodak's complaint seriously enough investigate RIM and Apple. Again. The stakes? A possible ban on US iPhone and BlackBerry imports.

In announcing that they'd investigate the complaint, the ITC made it clear that they weren't taking sides... yet. But before you dismiss Kodak out of hand for being rabble-rousers, it's worth noting that they've won similar judgments recently against both Samsung and Sun Microsystems.

Will we actually see the iPhone and BlackBerry banned from US stores? Highly doubtful. This will end the way these things always end: vast amounts of money changing hands. But with two simultaneous ITC investigations and countless lawsuits, the regulatory heat's been turned up at Cupertino. And a loss in either the Nokia or Kodak case could hit Apple's reputation even harder than its checkbook. [USITC via CNET]