Following a year of struggling with bankruptcy, Kodak announced that is has completed the sale of its digital imaging patents.
Last January, Kodak filed for bankruptcy after years of failed attempts to increase its cash reserves. Once considered the most innovative imaging company, Kodak could not keep up with its competitors leading the digital camera market. The company was the inventor of the digital camera, but waited too long to release it on the market and other companies, like Logitech and Canon, were among the first to launch such devices.
Kodak patent sale finally completed
Over the weekend, Kodak announced the completion of a $527 million transaction, consisting of the sale and licensing of its patents to a consortium of organizations. As the company had thousands of digital imaging patents in its portfolio, numerous entities rushed to buy them, including Apple, BlackBerry (ex-RIM), HTC, Samsung, and Fujifilm.
The aforementioned companies were among the 12 licensees who acquired the patents, in the auction organized by RPX Corporation and Intellectual Ventures, and they were all involved in patent litigation with Kodak. Other major organizations which received a share of Kodak’s patents are Microsoft, Google, Huawei, Facebook, Amazon, and Adobe.
Kodak looking to revive itself
Chairman and CEO, Antonio Perez, said that the patents sale and licensing are the first steps toward building a “profitable and sustainable company”. In order to help design new products, Kodak kept more than 9,600 patents entirely to itself. Additionally, the company will be allowed to make use of the 1,100 patents sold to the licensees.
Another important step for the New York-based company is that all patent litigation is now over between Kodak and the buyers. This will cut down costs and will allow the company to focus on developing new products and “enhancing core operations”.
New Kodak products coming soon
Recently, a partnership with JK Imaging has been announced. The new Kodak S1 will be released during the third quarter of 2013 under the Kodak brand, but manufactured by JK Imaging. The Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera will be just one of the future Kodak products that will emerge on the market in 2013, as the company announced its plans for new devices.