Kodak agrees to sell patent portfolio for $525 million

“Eastman Kodak Co agreed to sell its digital imaging patents for about $525 million, a key step to bringing the photography pioneer out of bankruptcy in the first half of 2013,” Tom Halss reports for Reuters. “The deal for the 1,100 patents allows Kodak to fulfill a condition for securing $830 million in financing.”

“The patent deal was reached with a consortium led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp, and which includes some of the world’s biggest technology companies, which will license or acquire the patents,” Halss reports. “Those companies are Adobe Systems Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Fujifilm, Google Inc, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, HTC Corp, Microsoft Corp, Research In Motion Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Shutterfly Inc, according to court documents.”

Halss reports, “Kodak traces its roots to the 19th century and invented the handheld camera. But it has been unable to successfully shift to digital imaging. It will likely be a different company when it exits bankruptcy, out of the consumer business and focused instead on providing products and services to the commercial imaging market. The patent sale is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

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    1. EXACTLY KenC. Patent troll ownership would have been horrific, a lawyer’s delight. This way the patents are dispersed to just about everyone involved and interested. The community benefits.

      Meanwhile, I have no clue exactly what Kodak expects itself to be after they claw their way out of bankruptcy. It got itself some financing. To accomplish what?

  1. Patents expire after 20 years (or 17 years for some earlier patents). So effectively, this $525 million layout only lasts for, at max, 20 years for most of the patents, with a few of them lasting a mere few years longer. Also, given that many of the patents would be several years old already, the investment will slowly disappear in smoke leading up to the total disappearance of the investment in slightly over 20 years time. I guess that’s no different to spending thousands for a computer, and it only lasting around 5 years typically, or slightly more in some cases.

  2. [Kodak] has been unable to successfully shift to digital imaging

    Actually, Kodak created some ground breaking and remarkable digital imaging technology. Unfortunately, Kodak turned into a Marketing-As-Management hellhole specifically due to the historic success of its film. It sat back, let marketing take over, watched $billions roll in, and neglected, even vilified, its R&D department. Much of the R&D was brilliant, but it either rotted on the vine, suffered from horrendous implementations, rollouts and follow up, or was taken for granted amidst both corporate arrogance and incompetence. Kodak went dysfunctional.

    I got to watch it happen first hand. I put up with nearly six years of it before I turned my back and left, disgusted. That was 1992 – 1998.

    1. You have my sympathy Derek. It is like watching your life’s work erode into a vast sewer knowing that large sewer rats are waiting to wolf it down then pick on the bones. Good thing you left sooner rather than later.

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