Kodak selling patent for US$525 million

Filed Under (Business News) by fred on 20-12-2012

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Eastman Kodak Co agreed to sell its digital imaging patents for about $525 million, a key step to bringing the photography pioneer out of bankruptcy in the first half of 2013.


The deal for the 1,100 patents allows Kodak to fulfill a condition for securing $830 million in financing.


The patent deal was reached with a consortium led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp , and which includes some of the world’s biggest technology companies, which will license or acquire the patents.


Those companies are Adobe Systems Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Fujifilm, Google Inc, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, HTC Corp, Microsoft Corp, Research In Motion Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Shutterfly Inc, according to court documents.


Kodak still must sell its personalized and document-imaging businesses as part of the financing package, and also has to resolve its UK pension obligation.


Kodak said the patent deal puts it on a path to emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2013.


“Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company,” said Antonio Perez, chairman and chief executive of the Rochester, New York-based company.


The patent portfolio was expected to be a major asset for Kodak when it filed for bankruptcy in January. An outside firm had estimated the patents could be worth as much as $2.6 billion.


Kodak’s patents hit the market as intellectual property values have soared and technology companies have plowed money into patent-related litigation.


For example, last year Nortel Networks sold 6,000 wireless patents in a bankruptcy auction for $4.5 billion and earlier this year Google spent $12.5 billion for patent-rich Motorola Mobility.


But Kodak’s patent auction dragged on beyond the initial expectation that it would be wrapped up in August. One patent specialist blamed those early, overly optimistic valuations, which he said encouraged Kodak’s team to set their sights too high.


“Unfortunately (Kodak management) was misled into thinking it was worth billions of dollars and it wasn’t,” said Alex Poltorak, chairman of General Patent Corp, a patent licensing firm. “I think they sold them at a very good price.”


He said after Google acquired Motorola, the search engine company no longer needed patents at any price, deflating the intellectual property market.


Kodak traces its roots to the 19th century and invented the handheld camera. But it has been unable to successfully shift to digital imaging.


It will likely be a different company when it exits bankruptcy, out of the consumer business and focused instead on providing products and services to the commercial imaging market.


The patent sale is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.


The Kodak bankruptcy case is in Re: Eastman Kodak Co. et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-10202

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Cisco cuts 1,300 jobs

Filed Under (Business News) by fred on 24-07-2012

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Cisco said Monday it will cut 1,300 jobs, or about 2% of the company’s global workforce.

The layoffs are part of the networking giant’s “continuous process of simplifying the company, as well as assessing the economic environment,” Cisco said in an e-mailed statement.


“We routinely review our business to determine where we need to align investment based on growth opportunities,” the company said. “Additionally, we continue to evaluate our organizational structure as part of our plan to drive simplicity, speed of decisions and agility across Cisco.”

These cuts follow a similar move the company made in June, 2011, when the San Jose, California based company laid off 9% of its staff and transferred 7% to another company through a sale.

Cisco sees dark clouds on the economic horizon

That came after about 550 employees received pink slips in April when Cisco exited consumer businesses, including Flip, the digital video camera company it bought in March 2009 for nearly $600 million.

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Google Nexus exceed sales expectation

Filed Under (Technology) by fred on 24-07-2012

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Demand for Google’s 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet seems to have well exceeded the tech giant’s expectations.

Last week, Google posted a message to its online store saying that shipments of the 16GB model were delayed one to two weeks. Now, the store has stopped taking orders altogether.

Those who want to purchase the $249 version of the tablet are told to sign up to be notified by e-mail when it is back in stock.

Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet

The 16GB version is also sold out at GameStop, Kmart, Sam’s Club, Office Depot, Staples, B&H, Best Buy in Canada and, according to The Guardian, Tesco in the UK. The only place to get the device online at this point may be eBay.

Google is still accepting orders for the 8GB version however, which costs $199.

The 7-inch, Asus-built tablet, which began shipping earlier this month, is the first to run the latest version of Android, codename Jelly Bean. It has a 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi) and a quad-core processor.

It has received widely positive reviews from the press — our own Peter Pachal called it “the Android media tablet the Kindle Fire was supposed to be.”

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