Kodak patent hearing adjourned; company weighing alternatives

By MIKE DICKINSON - 9/14/2012 3:15:04 PM

Eastman Kodak Co.’s patent sale discussions are ongoing, but, in a court filing Friday, the company acknowledged it “may not reach acceptable terms with parties via the auction process.” The company is weighing alternatives.

A filing with the Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Friday Kodak states they are continuing to explore alternatives involving their digital imaging patent assets, and their intellectual property more broadly, including retention of the digital imaging patent assets and the creation of a licensing company as a source of recovery for creditors.

A final sale hearing, originally scheduled for Aug. 20 and adjourned most recently to Sept. 19, has now been adjourned until further notice.

Kodak has been engaged in extensive ongoing negotiations of a potential sale and licensing transaction with respect to the digital imaging patent assets, the filing states.

The sale of the 1,100 patents, projected to fetch as much as $2.6 billion in the auction, has been viewed as critical to Kodak’s emergence from bankruptcy. Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 19.

It had begun the effort to sell the 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