Last week, a judge allowed the sale of Kodak’s digital imaging patents to a gang of 12 tech companies, including Apple, Google, and Amazon. The picture company ended up selling its patents for $527 million to Intellectual Ventures, which represents Apple.
The sale holds 1,100 Kodak patents in total. And the patents include 700 related to digital camera LCD viewfinders and 400 for image capture and manipulation and network-based services. Offsetting these valuable assets gives Kodak a better shot of pulling itself out of bankruptcy in the first half of 2013.
A company spokesman said:
“With the Court’s approval of the sale of our digital imaging patent portfolio, we have achieved one of Kodak’s key restructuring objectives, while positioning our Commercial Imaging business for further growth and success, and enabling Kodak to repay a substantial amount of its initial lending.”
The other companies allowed to license these Kodak digital imaging patents are Adobe, Research In Motion, Samsung, a unit of HTC, Fujifilm, Facebook, Huawei, Microsoft, and Shutterfly. The significance of this deal is bigger than Kodak being able to pay its bills, as it shows a less messier process for companies to do what we want them to do — which is strike licensing deals with each other.