The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Kodak sells digital imaging patents for $525M; says will help it emerge from Ch. 11 in 2013

  • Print

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Eastman Kodak is selling its digital imaging patents for about $525 million, money the struggling photo pioneer says will help it emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year.

Apple Inc., Google Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Research In Motion Ltd., Microsoft Corp., China's Huawei Technologies, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are among the 12 companies paying to license the 1,100 patents, according to court filings.

Patents have become very valuable to digital device makers, who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits. But Kodak, which has been trying to make the sale happen for more than a year, wound up receiving substantially less money than had been expected.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Eastman Kodak Co. said Wednesday that the patent sale will help it repay a substantial amount of a loan it received under the bankruptcy process. It also satisfies a key condition of a new, cheaper $830 million loan package, which required that the patents be sold for at least $500 million.

Founded in 1880, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after a long struggle to stay relevant. First came competition from Japanese companies, then the shift from film to digital photography over the past decade. Kodak failed to keep up. The once-mighty company, whose workforce peaked at 145,300 in 1988, said at the end of September that it expected to wind up with 13,100 employees after another round of job cuts.

Since filing for bankruptcy protection, Kodak has sold off several businesses, such as its online photo service, and said it would shut down other divisions, including the manufacturing of digital cameras. The company intends to focus on commercial and packaging printing. It sees home photo printers, high-speed commercial inkjet presses, software and packaging as the core of its business as it emerges from bankruptcy.

Kodak began mining its patent portfolio for license revenue in 2008. In January 2010, it sued Apple and RIM, saying that smartphone makers infringed its patent for technology that lets a camera preview low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at higher resolutions.

But by July 2011, it was trying to sell its 1,100 digital imaging patents. Analysts initially thought the portfolio could fetch between $2 billion and $3 billion. But Kodak struggled to find a buyer.

The 12 licensees for Kodak's imaging patents were organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp. Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda said each licensee will pay a portion of the total cost and then have access to all the patents. The deal also includes an agreement to settle patent-related litigation.

The sale represents "another major milestone toward successful emergence" from bankruptcy, said Antonio M. Perez, Kodak's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company."

Kodak will keep ownership of about 9,600 patents, focused mostly on commercial imaging and printing technologies.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman talks "job number one" in News Café interview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Premier Greg Selinger resign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google