Feeds

Bankrupt Kodak misses $2bn target, flogs imaging patents for $525m

Intellectual Ventures and RPX play hardball

Boost IT visibility and business value

Iconic camera-maker Eastman Kodak has reached an agreement to sell its portfolio of imaging patents for $525m.

Patent shop Intellectual Ventures is among the buyers, and together with RPX Corporation leads a consortium of 12 unnamed licensees to buy a portion of the patents.

IV, considered by critics to be a patent troll, is also paying to hold a portion of the patents itself.

The licensees in the IV and RPX crew were not named, however firms reported to have been interested in the bidding included the who’s who of tech - Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Google, Research In Motion, Samsung, HTC, Fujifilm, Facebook, Huawei, Amazon and Shutterfly. Each of the licensees will get rights to the patent portfolio and some other Kodak patents. The deal also puts an end to patent-related lawsuits between the group's members and Kodak.

Microsoft and Apple are reported to have lined up behind IV – company founder Nathan Myhrvold is a former Microsoft chief technology officer – with Google and Asian smartphone companies rumoured to have gone with RPX.

Kodak announced the plan to sell 1,100 patents in its digital imaging business to pay off its creditors and to re-structure and re-invent itself as a printer company in January. The announcement came as Kodak ended US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

At the time, Kodak reckoned it could rise between $2.2bn and $2.6bn from the sale.

Richard Ehrlickman, former vice president of Intellectual Property at IBM, this month said he doubted Kodak could hit the desired price, given that the patents are already widely licensed.

The opening bid in the deal was reported to be $500m, so it looks like the patent shops played hardball and there wasn’t much room for negotiation beyond that. If Kodak really had been banking on up to $2.6bn, then its future doesn't look any less shaky following the deal to sell its silverware. ®

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?