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Kodak delays disclosure of patent auction results

Rochester Business Journal
August 13, 2012

Eastman Kodak Co. and its creditors have agreed to extend the timeline for announcing the outcome of the auction of its digital imaging patents, the company said late Monday afternoon.

The extension is being made ”in light of continuing discussions with bidders,” Kodak said in a statement. “The auction, which is a complex and dynamic process, is ongoing.”

The company did not provide a timeline for the extension.

Kodak said it remains bound by a court order on confidentiality and cannot comment.

The company was to declare the winning bidder for its digital imaging patents no later than 5 p.m. Monday, the rules approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan state.

Kodak has been hoping to raise more than $2 billion through the sales of its some 1,100 patents. The auction began last week. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday initial bids by consortiums led by Apple Inc. and Google Inc.—two deep-pocketed bidders among the favorites to win the auction—were roughly $500 million.

Kodak, which filed for Chapter 11 protection on Jan. 19, is counting on the sale of its digital capture and Kodak imaging systems and services patent portfolios to provide cash needed for its post-bankruptcy turnaround. That includes repaying a $950 million bankruptcy loan.

Kodak’s cash balance on June 30 was nearly $1.3 billion, down from $1.4 billion at the end of the first quarter but up from $957 million on June 30, 2011.

Estimates prior to the auction had put the value of those patents at more than $2 billion. The auction has been expected to attract interest from key players in the technology industry.

Kodak began the effort to sell its digital patents last year in hope of finding a buyer in 2011.

The digital capture portfolio includes more than 700 patents covering aspects of image capture, processing and transmission technologies related to the design and operation of digital cameras and multifunction devices, including camera-enabled smartphones and tablets, Kodak said.

The Kodak imaging systems and services, or KISS, portfolio includes more than 400 patents that cover technologies including image analysis, manipulation and tagging, and network-based services, including image storage, access and fulfillment, the company said.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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