Earlier this month, Apple had its claims to a pair of Kodak imaging patents struck down by Judge Gropper for being filed "unreasonably late," risking Kodak's ability to sell the assets. Now, Cupertino is asking Gropper to reconsider for the very same reason, stressing that "a prompt appeal of this order is necessary in view of the prospect that Kodak will seek to sell the patents at issue free and clear of Apple's interests prior to full adjudication of Apple's appeal." In short, Apple's claims were rejected because it was too close to the sale, and now wants to appeal quickly because a pending auction could reassign the patent ownership before it can be reclaimed. Even so, Kodak is no longer sure it wants to sell the digital imaging patents, and made a statement saying that it might decide to keep the portfolio for itself. The lawyers in Cook's kitchen seem hopeful, but realistic, noting additional arguments on the issue may be required, or the appeal might not be allowed to proceed. We'll let you know where this ends up -- Apple's legal team is nothing, after all, if not tenacious.