Kodak sells its imaging patents to Apple, Google, Microsoft and others


Wednesday morning, Kodak announced that it has agreed to sell its digital imaging patents to two consortiums, Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, that are backed by Silicon Valley giants Apple, Google, Microsoft and other companies. The transaction is valued at $525 million.

That’s way less than their previously estimated worth of about $2.6 billion. The $525 million will be paid by Intellectual Ventures and the two consortiums twelve licensees, each receiving rights to the digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents. Another portion will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which is acquiring the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to these new licenses, as well as previously existing licenses…

The monetization of Kodak;s patents should help the struggling firm innovate itself as a sustainable business while helping repay “a substantial amount of our initial DIP loan”.

According to a media release, the transaction automatically settles pending litigation between Kodak and the licensees:

The transaction also includes an agreement to settle current patent-related litigation between the participants and Kodak, which avoids additional litigation costs and helps to ensure that management and the company’s resources focus on enhancing the operations of its core future businesses.

While Kodak did not disclose the licensees, The Wall Street Journal previously asserted that Apple, Google, Microsoft and HTC – with whom Apple cut a cross-licensing deal – are all involved in the patent sale.

TechCrunch passes along a court filing naming the twelve licensees: Apple, Research In Motion, Google, Samsung Electronics, Adobe Systems, HTC, Facebook, Fujifilm, Huawei, Amazon, Shutterfly and Microsoft.

Following the transaction, pending customary regulatory approval, Kodak plans to leverage its Commercial Imaging technologies that it says are fundamental to its future.

“Commercial Imaging is a business in which Kodak has significant competitive advantages and strong growth prospects”, the company writes.

Bloomberg first reported last week that Google and Apple teamed up to buy 1,100 of Kodak’s imaging patents for more than $500 million.