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Kodak: Patent auction ongoing, may keep patents

Rochester Business Journal
August 16, 2012

Eastman Kodak Co. continues to talk with potential buyers of its digital imaging patents but no deal has been struck. Indeed, Kodak on Thursday said it may keep all or parts of the portfolio.

The sale of the 1,100 patents, projected to fetch at least $2 billion in the auction that began last week, has been viewed as critical to Kodak emergence from bankruptcy.

“The company reiterates that it has not reached a determination or agreement to sell the digital imaging patent portfolio, and may retain all or parts of it as a source of creditor recoveries in lieu of a sale if it concludes that doing so is in the best interests of the estate,” said Christopher Veronda, manager of corporate communications, in a statement.

Kodak had been expected to announce the outcome of the auction on Monday, but late afternoon it said it was extending the timeline in light of continuing discussions with bidders.

The company has not provided a timeline for the extension.

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 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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