By now, you’ve all likely heard about Kodak’s patent sale. The one-time photography giant filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, so it was forced to sell off a large chunk of its intellectual property to a consortium of companies to help pay off its debts.
The sale, which included over 1,100 digital imaging patents, was approved earlier this month by Judge Allan Gropper. And this week, Kodak announced that it had completed the deal, and it plans to exit bankruptcy within the next six months…
From the press release (via Engadget):
“Eastman Kodak Company has completed a transaction for the sale and licensing of its digital imaging patents for net proceeds of $527 million.
The transaction, which achieves one of Kodak’s key restructuring objectives, follows other recent major accomplishments that include final Court approval last week for the company’s interim and exit financing. Kodak’s monetization of IP assets further builds on its momentum toward emergence in mid-2013.”
A portion of the $527 million was paid by 12 intellectual property licensees—Apple, Research In Motion, Google, Samsung, Adobe Systems, HTC, Facebook, Fujifilm, Huawei, Amazon, Shutterfly and Microsoft—and the other by Intellectual Ventures.
Interestingly enough, as part of the deal, Kodak gets to retain the right to use the 1,100 digital imaging patents that were sold in the transaction in future products. And it also maintains ownership of nearly 10,000 other imaging-related patents.
Additionally, the transaction included an agreement to settle all patent-related litigation between the licenses and Kodak. This will not only help it avoid additional litigation costs, but also help ensure that the company can focus on its restructuring plan.
So just to recap here: Kodak, although not the same giant we used to know, will live to fight another day. And 12 major tech companies now have the licenses to over 1,000 crucial imaging patents, which for once, they can’t use to sue each other with.
I’d say everyone came out on top here.
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