RIM and others buy up patents from failing Kodak

Kodak
By Adam Zeis on 19 Dec 2012 03:05 pm EST
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RIM and Kodak have had some issues over patents in the last few years, but today it looks like things may be copasetic as Kodak has sold off all of it's imaging patents. The patents have been transfered to Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation for the sum of $525 million, which Kodak hopes will pay off a chunk of their bankruptcy loan. If the deal goes through, companies including RIM, Google, Apple and Facebook will pay up for the rights to all of the patents. Hopefully this will kill off the disputes between RIM and Kodak once and for all. Keep reading for full details.

Consortium organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation to pay approximately $525 million for purchase and licenses of patents

Builds on Kodak's momentum toward a successful emergence in the first half of 2013


Company Website: http://www.kodak.com
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- (Business Wire)

Eastman Kodak Company has completed a series of agreements that successfully monetizes its digital imaging patents.

The proposed transaction, which achieves one of Kodak's key restructuring objectives, follows other recent major accomplishments that include an agreement for interim and exit financing for the company's emergence from its Chapter 11 restructuring, and resolution of U.S. retiree non-pension benefits liabilities. Kodak's monetization of IP assets further builds on its momentum toward a successful emergence in the first half of 2013.

Under the agreements, Kodak will receive approximately $525 million, a portion of which will be paid by 12 intellectual property licensees organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, with each licensee receiving rights with respect 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.

"This monetization of patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence," Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said. "Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company. This proposed transaction enables Kodak to repay a substantial amount of our initial DIP loan, satisfy a key condition for our new financing facility, and position our Commercial Imaging business for further growth and success."

The transaction enables the company to continue innovating in its core Commercial Imaging technologies that are fundamental to its future. Commercial Imaging is a business in which Kodak has significant competitive advantages and strong growth prospects.

"Kodak remains a major center of invention and innovation," Perez said.

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.

The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court and the satisfaction of certain customary conditions.

12 comments

P-unit

Hope this pays dividends with the camera.

Ebscer

This just means that nobody will get sued over camera patents...

AngryEdmontonian

Actually, it wouldn't surprise me to see Apple try to retroactively sue Fuji or Polaroid et al.

I Bleed Black & Berry

Bolderholder

The basis of the alleged infringement doesn't change regardless who holds the patent (unless you bought it). I can see Apple doing just that.

Joe257

I predict that Apple lawsuits will increase this year and next. They have shown an inability to innovate without Jobs. As the stock keeps falling, investors will demand bigger returns, the pressure to sue will only increase.

Apple is the old RIM.

RIM is now the one poised to revolutionize how we use our phones and what we should expect our phones to do.

Apple must continue to innovate. They need to find their mojo again, but it will be hard without Jobs.

BaconMunch

I'm glad RIM worked its way into this purchase group, being left out would be an unfortunate loss.

Knightcrawler

i wonder how much of this is for the purpose of innovation vs safeguarding against future lawsuits.

iggypop

Funny how other sites that talk about this only mention Google and Apple...

rfig

What real chance does RIM have to buy any of those patents if Google or Apple want them too? In my opinion, RIM will be outbid for every single one of them, and the lawsuits will keep on coming.
RIM is seen as the weakest link by those bigger companies, and they have made it their mission (while also engaging the help of the press) to destroy RIM. Who doesn't want to have one less competitor?
I'm a Blackberry die hard fan, but that doesn't make me blind. Let's hope I'm wrong.

robertdusa

They're not bidding on the patents individually, it's a partnership. RIM and the other companies are purchasing the patents together. Unless I'm wrong, that will mean that they all have equal rights/protection from all the patents that are purchased.

1canuck2

You realize the Intellectual Ventures is the patent troll Company of years past who quietly amass a number of patents for the sole purpose of suing the ass off of big companies for massive profit.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/technology/18patent.html?_r=0

Rootbrian

Nopefully the patent trolls don't cause damage to RIM.
Instead, go after the big $$$$$$$$$$$$$ ones that likely infringe.