Imatec is to appeal a US court’s dismissal of its ColorSync patent litigation suit against Apple.

Imatec spokeswoman Dian Griesel says the New York company will "definitely" appeal.

"We feel this case involved highly technical issues and question how well the judge understood these issues."

The suit alleged that Apple's ColorSync colour-matching technology was based on three patents held by Imatec's president and CEO, Hanoch Shalit, and asked for $1.1 billion in damages.

The presiding judge dismissed the case after deciding that ColorSync does not infringe upon any of the specified patents which, the judge also determined, do not belong to Imatec and Shalit.

Shalit claimed invention of a system to manage colour for image reproductions on displays and printed output. In response, Apple in April 1998 claimed its ColorSync color-management products, which were developed in 1993 using the LinoColor engine licensed from Heidelberg Prepress, were on the market before Shalit's 1988 patent application. Imatec said it found no evidence that Apple's products existed before its patents.

Any Imatec appeal would be handled by the US Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiff must first file appellate briefs arguing that the judge in question has erred. If the circuit court agrees, the case will be heard.