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Kodak loses imaging patent claim against Apple, RIM

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
A patent infringement case filed by Eastman Kodak against Apple and RIM has been ruled to be invalid by a US International Trade Commission judge.

The patent, pertaining to low resolution previews of video that are displayed while recording full quality video, was successfully used by Kodak to reach mobile-related licensing agreements with Samsung and LG over the past two years worth $864 million, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Because the patent relates to essentially every modern mobile phone that includes a camera, Apple and RIM were seen as prime targets for similar agreements. However, Apple and RIM argued that the patent was invalid because it was an "obvious variation of an earlier invention," and the ITC judge agreed.

The report noted that if the commission overturns the judge's ruling, the judge would recommend that all affected devices be blocked from US import, a move that would kill domestic distribution of virtually all BlackBerry models and all iPhones.

Most patent cases involve a plea to block imports with the ITC, a move that greatly leverages the importance of the case, given that virtually all electronics are now being imported from Far East assemblers. Virtually every mobile manufacturer is now engaged in a web of intellectual property lawsuits, many of which include demands that the ITC block all imports of the challenged devices.

RIM and Apple are both suing Kodak, with RIM filing a federal civil suit challenging the validity of other Kodak patents while Apple is suing Kodak directly for patent infringement in a trial that begins the end of January.

Kodak's setback caused the company's stock to fall 8.6 percent after the ruling was announced. Once a leader in the now dying world of chemical photography, the company is seeking to transition toward digital imaging and hopes to use its portfolio of more than a thousand patents related to imaging to earn royalties that can fund that shift.

The imploding demand for Kodak's traditional film products has slashed the company's revenues nearly in half in the last five years to $7.6 billion in 2009.
post #2 of 35
1 down, 4,659 to go ... yiippieeee!
post #3 of 35
I wonder what their patent portfolio is worth? Apple could takeover Kodak for a couple of billion.
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post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I wonder what their patent portfolio is worth? Apple could takeover Kodak for a couple of billion.

The problem is probably that most of their patents do not pertain to modern digital photography.
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I wonder what their patent portfolio is worth?

Don't know a lot about company vauation and such but with revenues of $7.9 billion and a market cap of only $1.9 billion, how do these numbers work?
Does this show they have a lot of licensing they collect on?
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Don't know a lot about company vauation and such but with revenues of $7.9 billion and a market cap of only $1.9 billion, how do these numbers work?
Does this show they have a lot of licensing they collect on?

Revenues are before profit so if the company has a bunch of debt, or isnt profitable, then that 7.9 billion means the company value stays the same. Basically they have a lot coming in and as much or more going out. They are effectively at break even or worse, for a company this age this is called "going broke". Considering the last quarter they had a LOSS of $43 million - yeah "going broke." is quite correct.
post #7 of 35
If the judges ruling is sustained by the commission, what happens to the agreement previously reached on this patent? Do Samsung and LG get their licensing money back?
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post #8 of 35
Wait........ Kodak is still in business?
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

If the judges ruling is sustained by the commission, what happens to the agreement previously reached on this patent? Do Samsung and LG get their licensing money back?

Wow so the people buying Samsung's super mega galaxy smartphone are actually donating part of their money to save Kodak? /s
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwoot27 View Post

The problem is probably that most of their patents do not pertain to modern digital photography.

I've worked now about 27 years in Rochester NY (not Kodak) so I'm very familiar with Kodak. Frankly I'm very very happy to see them loose. They actually made a decision to become a patent troll and that is just plain disgusting for a company that innovated for well over a hundred years. To go from being a model of excellence to a complete failure in a couple of years is just sad. That mostly due to head in the sand thinking that chemical photography would be around for a long time.

Funny thing is Kodak makes some of the best CCDs going. You would think that one devision would have informed the other. The other nasty with Kodak was the decisions made that sent remaining jobs overseas. They pretty much turned half the city into a waste land.

One can only hope that LG comes back and demands their billion back! This sort of lazy management mentality must be addressed.
post #11 of 35
This is a real Kodak memory...

There was a time when Kodak was at the top of their game. This is what happens when corporations fail to keep up with the times. When they can't innovate... litigate. \
post #12 of 35
R.I.P. Kodak. I loved film in it's day.
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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

This is a real Kodak memory...

There was a time when Kodak was at the top of their game. This is what happens when corporations fail to keep up with the times. When they can't innovate... litigate. \

Kodak purchased Creo of Vancouver, B.C. a few years ago, and by doing so it instantly became a world leader in digital imaging for the printing industry. Creo made digital platesetters and the very successful Prinergy work-flow system. Both of which are now Kodak's domain. Of course, it immediately gutted the company, fired most of its staff, and moved most programming operations to Israel.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I've worked now about 27 years in Rochester NY (not Kodak) so I'm very familiar with Kodak. Frankly I'm very very happy to see them loose. They actually made a decision to become a patent troll and that is just plain disgusting for a company that innovated for well over a hundred years. To go from being a model of excellence to a complete failure in a couple of years is just sad. That mostly due to head in the sand thinking that chemical photography would be around for a long time.

Funny thing is Kodak makes some of the best CCDs going. You would think that one devision would have informed the other. The other nasty with Kodak was the decisions made that sent remaining jobs overseas. They pretty much turned half the city into a waste land.

One can only hope that LG comes back and demands their billion back! This sort of lazy management mentality must be addressed.

When Kodak OY Finland signed a distribution agreement with me 20+ years ago for digital color software I was summoned to Rochester. I made my case for digital color and had the full support of their scanner division. I was virtually laughed at by the powers that be (then) and the contract was never renewed. It was staggering how deep they had their heads in the sand.
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post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I've worked now about 27 years in Rochester NY (not Kodak) so I'm very familiar with Kodak. Frankly I'm very very happy to see them loose. They actually made a decision to become a patent troll and that is just plain disgusting for a company that innovated for well over a hundred years. To go from being a model of excellence to a complete failure in a couple of years is just sad. That mostly due to head in the sand thinking that chemical photography would be around for a long time.

Funny thing is Kodak makes some of the best CCDs going. You would think that one devision would have informed the other. The other nasty with Kodak was the decisions made that sent remaining jobs overseas. They pretty much turned half the city into a waste land.

One can only hope that LG comes back and demands their billion back! This sort of lazy management mentality must be addressed.

"Patent troll" is, of course, a very subjective label. I'm a partisan observer in this particular fight (as are we all, presumably) and am naturally happy to see Apple win.

However, when I think of patent trolls, I think about the companies that buy patents, without ever having the intention to do anything but sue. I hate those guys.

I'm less sanguine about companies that are out there, building products, trying to make some new stuff, and then defending their patents. No doubt there's a line where you cross into troll country doing that, but sometimes litigation is the only way to keep people from copying innovations your company spent millions of dollars creating. You have a right to profit from your inventions. About Kodak specifically, I don't know. They apparently had a weak patent, and the system worked by invalidating it. (Where "worked" is largely from a pro-Apple viewpoint). But just because I felt their patent was weak doesn't mean I expected Kodak to roll over and say, "Well it's our patent, but doggone it, it's embarrassing. Let's just forget about it." Let's just celebrate what seems to be a rare instance of the system actually working, for once.
post #16 of 35
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post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by revilre View Post

Revenues are before profit so if the company has a bunch of debt, or isnt profitable, then that 7.9 billion means the company value stays the same. Basically they have a lot coming in and as much or more going out. They are effectively at break even or worse, for a company this age this is called "going broke". Considering the last quarter they had a LOSS of $43 million - yeah "going broke." is quite correct.

It's not that bad for Kodak. They are profitable over the last year, though not by much, and have no debt. In fact, they have $5.20 in cash per share on the books, which isn't bad considering that they closed today at $5.22, before the after-hours fall, so in fact they are potentially a near zero-cost takeover target. If their patent portfolio and other assets are worth anything, they're a prime candidate to get scalped.
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post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

It's not that bad for Kodak. They are profitable over the last year, though not by much, and have no debt. In fact, they have $5.20 in cash per share on the books, which isn't bad considering that they closed today at $5.22, before the after-hours fall, so in fact they are potentially a near zero-cost takeover target. If their patent portfolio and other assets are worth anything, they're a prime candidate to get scalped.

I really wonder if Apple would take a run at them. How much of the acquisition would Apple have to unwind to fit their business model. I also question if they would be a good fit in terms of corporate culture or would Apple be after only the IP?
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

It's not that bad for Kodak. They are profitable over the last year, though not by much, and have no debt. In fact, they have $5.20 in cash per share on the books, which isn't bad considering that they closed today at $5.22, before the after-hours fall, so in fact they are potentially a near zero-cost takeover target. If their patent portfolio and other assets are worth anything, they're a prime candidate to get scalped.

It would be pocket money to Apple but what worth in IP is there really for Apple?
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post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I really wonder if Apple would take a run ahttp://forums.appleinsider.com/images/icons/icon6.gift them. How much of the acquisition would Apple have to unwind to fit their business model. I also question if they would be a good fit in terms of corporate culture or would Apple be after only the IP?

I've learned quite a lesson on this. First of all by even thinking about Kodak. When I was a kid that's all I saw everywhere... Coke, Pac Man & Kodak.

I thought they would be around forever. I guess I'm just stating that you learn how fragile large companies can actually be when you see one so large stumbling around later in life. I just realized I haven't owned a film camera since I was a kid.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I really wonder if Apple would take a run at them. How much of the acquisition would Apple have to unwind to fit their business model. I also question if they would be a good fit in terms of corporate culture or would Apple be after only the IP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

It would be pocket money to Apple but what worth in IP is there really for Apple?

I really don't know. Just tossed it out for discussion. Apparently Kodak has a patent portfolio of some depth and relevance -- enough to sue Apple et al.
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post #22 of 35
Kodak, Xerox, Wang, Singer, Blockbuster, AOL, etc, etc - words synonymous with the companies whose products they excelled with, but whose vision was sorely lacking.
post #23 of 35
That is some of the things I've seen and heard indicate the mind set of a troll. That is throw your wieght around and hope that you can make things stick in a court that can't grasp the details. In other words grab a few patents that you pretty much know are BS and threaten a few weaker organization to establish a little creed and then go after bigger fishes. So yeah I think trolling is the right term.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

"Patent troll" is, of course, a very subjective label. I'm a partisan observer in this particular fight (as are we all, presumably) and am naturally happy to see Apple win.

Well this is difficult as Kodak does have many patents for tech developed over the years. This includes sensors and things like OLEDs. So yeah they need to watch out for their IP. However in this case I do think they went into this trying to extort money from a big fish.
Quote:
However, when I think of patent trolls, I think about the companies that buy patents, without ever having the intention to do anything but sue. I hate those guys.

While I don't think Kodak has gone completely gone off track their behaviour is pretty much that of a troll in this case. It is pretty easy to get Patents these days that you know are BS. It isn't much different than buying them.
Quote:
I'm less sanguine about companies that are out there, building products, trying to make some new stuff, and then defending their patents. No doubt there's a line where you cross into troll country doing that, but sometimes litigation is the only way to keep people from copying innovations your company spent millions of dollars creating. You have a right to profit from your inventions.

I don't disagree with this at all. However we all know that many things are patented every day that could hardly be called an invention. Even Apple does it. If they had gone after Apple for a valid bit of tech that would have been one thing. I suspect that they knew right from the begining that they where on thin ice and where hoping previous licensing would tip things in their direction.
Quote:
About Kodak specifically, I don't know. They apparently had a weak patent, and the system worked by invalidating it. (Where "worked" is largely from a pro-Apple viewpoint).

Apple isn't who this worked for. Rather it worked for the people of this country that suffer high prices due to the many questionable licensing arraingments that happen because of this crap. If not high prices the stuff that ends up not making it across the border because of crummy court decisions or deals.
Quote:
But just because I felt their patent was weak doesn't mean I expected Kodak to roll over and say, "Well it's our patent, but doggone it, it's embarrassing. Let's just forget about it." Let's just celebrate what seems to be a rare instance of the system actually working, for once.

Maybe they should have done so and put some of that effort into actually reviving the company. Instead they have engaged in one nasty scheme after another to shrink the company and basically abandon the country.

I hate to make comparisons but they have turned a good portion of the city into what looks like another Detroit. One big difference though is that when the abandon a building they tear it down so they don't have to pay taxes on it. Sad.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I really don't know. Just tossed it out for discussion. Apparently Kodak has a patent portfolio of some depth and relevance -- enough to sue Apple et al.

As much as I'm disgusted with Kodak I have to admit that they do have some interesting tech that is still relevant today.

For example Kodak has in production some of the best CCDs going. Often these are used in very high quality medium format cameras or even view cameras. Of course some would see CCDs as yesterdays tech but they do have their place.

Kodak developed some of the original science that went into the development of OLEDs. In fact many companies license tech from Kodak because of this. So I don't dismiss those deals, but then many of those deals where made well before the current lunacy.

They also own tech related to printers, cameras and other stuff that escapes me. I'm certain there are people with better knowledge than mine out there. As to Apple buying out Kodak I would have to wonder why. Honestly it doesn't look like OLEDs are going anywhere. Frankly CCDs are way to high end for Apples current hardware line ups. It would be an extreme long shot to see OLED tech take of to the extent that Apple would need the patent portfolio.

In fact as time goes on it is hard to believe the patent portfolio is worth much to anybody. This reality is likely reflected in the stock price. In the end I see the company being picked apart at fire sale prices.

There are two things that Kodak highlights in my mind. One is the danger professional managers hold over American companies. I think it is complete BS for anyone to believe they can manage a company without understanding it's markets and technology. That doesn't mean you have to be an engineer by any means just that you need to be able to connect with customers and see a bit in the future.

The second issue is group think and the dangers of surpressing ideas that conflict with the plan. Whatever that plan may be at the moment. I understand the need for management to have their teams work towards a goal. However it is pretty stupid to show people the door when bringing up the dangers of competitive tech.
post #25 of 35
Somehow I can't find it in my heart to be super-critical of Kodak. They were one of the world's premiere companies. They practically invented amateur photography. You might say they were the Apple of their day. The changes in technology which led to their current marginalization happened so quickly, in relative terms, that's only in hindsight that we have any idea how they could have made the necessary adjustments. They tried to move quickly into digital, but it was an area where their brand meant nothing to the market. I don't know what they have left to offer. Maybe nothing -- but the fact that they mount legal challenges in the technology markets suggest some value.
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post #26 of 35
I grew up about 80 miles from Rochester so Kodak and the city where more or less far off places. Keep in mind this was like 40 some years ago.

In any event Kodak was the film company you went to. People held the company and Kodachrome in very high regard. I used a lot of their film in my teens and twenties thinking it was the best possible for 35mm and medium format. Later in life I took my RZ out to California to take some pics in the mountains and Joshua Tree. I literally ran out of film so I ran to Palm Springs where there was a dealler handling medium format. It was a reasonably large store but I didn't find any Kodak film so unasked the owner where upon he said he didn't carry it due to zero demand.

That was strange so we got to talking and frankly not very kind things where said about Kodak and their field reps. Even back then it was a head in the sand attitude and extreme arrogance about their product. In any event purchased my Fuji film and was about to leave when the guy remembers a small stash of remaining Kodak medium format rolls. He said here take this. He literally gave his remaining stock away as it was of no value to him.

This really shocked me but at the same time opened my eyes. For one that Fuji film was pretty darn good. Second; get to nasty trying to control your markets and people get really pissed off. Of course I was living just outside of Rochester at the time where the influence of Kodak was really strong but ultimately I learned my lesson about film quality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post

I've learned quite a lesson on this. First of all by even thinking about Kodak. When I was a kid that's all I saw everywhere... Coke, Pac Man & Kodak.

Their local influence was huge. Kodak was everywhere as where Kodak workers. Like I alluded to above it was a long time before I was even exposed to alternative film.
Quote:
I thought they would be around forever. I guess I'm just stating that you learn how fragile large companies can actually be when you see one so large stumbling around later in life. I just realized I haven't owned a film camera since I was a kid.

Yeah it can be very shocking. It is also shocking to realize that excutives can be making millions and literal not have a clue. This would be a big fear of mind if Steve leaves Apple in the future. Apple has a good team inplace right now but all of them could be gone soon. It is sad but their seems to be a problem with company boards these days where they seem to go with the CEO demanding the highest pay instead of the loftiest ideas.

As to me and film, well that is pretty much over. I bought a D100 years ago just about the time my interests started to wane. The urge to upgrade strikes once in a while but the tech is changing so fast that I just don't want to invest wildly. Frankly Digital SLRs put you on the same upgrade treadmill as computers. Except that computers are a lot cheaper.

This brings us back to Apple and the iPad, MBP and it's other machines. I avoided rev one of the iPad simply because it was rev one and obviously not all there yet. I might not have done that in the past so I attribute that to getting older and wiser. Likewise I've decided to milk my MBP as much as possible and to restrain from upgrades as much as possible. Again I blame it on old age and the reality that vacation time is golden. This of course has nothing to do with Apple winning here but it does mean I don't have to run out and buy a new iPhone real quick.
post #27 of 35
Maybe a politically incorrect way to put it, but you seem to have drawn a bead on the qualities of both companies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Somehow I can't find it in my heart to be super-critical of Kodak. They were one of the world's premiere companies. They practically invented amateur photography. You might say they were the Apple of their day.

This is incredibly good because when you think about it both companies did exactly the same thing. That is take an obscure and complex technology and put it into the hands of common people. Apple effectively took mainframe and mini computer tech and reformulated it in a very usable desk top solution. Kodak took the mysteries of photography and put it in a box with a button. I fogot the exact wording but they had a slogan that went something like this: you take the picture and we do all the rest. Some of the parallels are surprising.
Quote:
The changes in technology which led to their current marginalization happened so quickly, in relative terms, that's only in hindsight that we have any idea how they could have made the necessary adjustments.

They had their heads in the sand for well over a decade. I honestly believe they thought they had enough influence that they could prevent the move to digital or at least control it's growth. By the time a management team arrived that recognized this publically digital was already established in the consummers mind.
Quote:
They tried to move quickly into digital, but it was an area where their brand meant nothing to the market. I don't know what they have left to offer. Maybe nothing -- but the fact that they mount legal challenges in the technology markets suggest some value.

I'm certain there is some value there but honestly even now their stock is rather high priced even as a take over target. Plus one has to consider that their patents are getting old even if they are valid. In Apples case I can't see a strong reason to buy Kodak unless they can free up some patent IP for their suppliers.

As to moving quickly into digital I'm not sure I agree with that. Honestly I've been left with the impression that reality was just the opposite. Eventually they purchased a Japanese camera manufacture but even then their offerings trailed the rest of the market. In the end it appeared to be a lack of vision and a desire to control the market.

For example the 4/3's sensor format which while having merits flew in the face of the industry. It really seemed like an attempt to strong arm the market. It also missed one important problem such an aspect ratio sucks for more general usage of a camera. It is a great format for portraits but sucks royally for family events or really just about any usage outside of portraits.

It is sort of at odds with the values the company originally had. I was left with the impression that recent Kodak design energy went into trying to establish control over the market like they use to have. It wasn't always in the customers best interest or frankly in Kodaks interest (from an outsiders point of view). Contrast this with Apple where they still exist to make new and innovative products that the people at Apple would want to own. I don't think a single product that has come out of Apple recently was designed to dominate the market, their current domination is rather the result of devices doing things people want to do. Oh and doing it well. That is what lead to Kodaks early success, they seemed to gave lost sight of that in the latter half of the last century. Another example here was the disk camera which I honestly doubt had much uptake at all with Kodak employees. If your own employees reject new tech you are in deep s$&)&. On the other hand I wouldn't be surprised if nearly all Apple employees have an iPod, iPhone or something similar. Mind you they would own these because they want to.

In any event part of my anger comes from the attitude displayed by upper management and their desire to lay off so many local people instead of taking the cuts else where. They literally cut out tens of thousands of jobs locally. On top of that is the fallout of trickle down layoffs in the supporting industries. Sure some of that had to happen but you think there would have been a little preference to the home town. It is almost as if the management team took an f-u attitude and decide to not even try to fix the corporation, their wealth being assured before even taking over the CEOs chair.

Enough for now I need to rest.
post #28 of 35
What was that noise? Oh, that was Samsung and LG firing their lawyers.
post #29 of 35
Worse in today's comments than usual, so...

it's -- a contraction of "it is"
its -- a possessive pronoun akin to his and hers
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

Suck It

Steve

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ahh immature but funny as hell....thanks for that!
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Maybe a politically incorrect way to put it, but you seem to have drawn a bead on the qualities of both companies.

Thanks for the expansion on the idea. I agree with most of what you've said, but I will make the financial observation that EK currently has more cash than market cap, and no debt, which means the takeover costs could be little or nothing. The brand alone is worth something, to the right company. FWIW, much the same was said of Apple in the darkest days of the late '90s -- a poorly run company with no obvious future, but still owning a strong brand. Somebody made those meager assets into the turnaround story of the century. Food for thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincytee View Post

Worse in today's comments than usual, so...

it's -- a contraction of "it is"
its -- a possessive pronoun akin to his and hers

True. It always makes me wince to see the incorrect use of the apostrophe but I also know that Apple has contributed to the decline and fall of basic grammar, with the predictive spelling feature of iOS. Typing "its" automatically results in the insertion of an apostrophe. You have to know when it's wrong, and then backspace it out.
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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Kodak, Xerox, Wang, Singer, Blockbuster, AOL, etc, etc - words synonymous with the companies whose products they excelled with, but whose vision was sorely lacking.

and RIM.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

It would be pocket money to Apple but what worth in IP is there really for Apple?

There are many things at Kodak that are highly valuable, but one of the main ones is their sensor development for digital cameras. Nikon and many other camera manufacturers either use Kodak's sensors directly for some cameras or use custom modified designs.

However, I'm not sure that Apple is the right company to take over this kind of development as Apple no longer seems interested in the ultimate quality, but rather what's easiest to use.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

There are many things at Kodak that are highly valuable, but one of the main ones is their sensor development for digital cameras. Nikon and many other camera manufacturers either use Kodak's sensors directly for some cameras or use custom modified designs.

However, I'm not sure that Apple is the right company to take over this kind of development as Apple no longer seems interested in the ultimate quality, but rather what's easiest to use.

Kodak does not appear to be a good match for Apple. Apple would have no interest in the film division or in most of the commercial division (presses and proofing equipment). I doubt Apple has any interest in the inkjet printer business or even in competing in the digital camera space. That would leave digital picture frames and image sensors (but Apple is a CE company and is not really structured to be a component supplier). I'm not sure their is enough IP for Apple to pay $1.5B and then manage the process of divesting the unit that don't merge well with Apple.

After thinking this through, I think Sony would be a better bet even though it also requires a great deal of unloading business units - not that I really think that is in the cards either.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Kodak does not appear to be a good match for Apple. Apple would have no interest in the film division or in most of the commercial division (presses and proofing equipment). I doubt Apple has any interest in the inkjet printer business or even in competing in the digital camera space. That would leave digital picture frames and image sensors (but Apple is a CE company and is not really structured to be a component supplier). I'm not sure their is enough IP for Apple to pay $1.5B and then manage the process of divesting the unit that don't merge well with Apple.

After thinking this through, I think Sony would be a better bet even though it also requires a great deal of unloading business units - not that I really think that is in the cards either.

I'm not saying they are a good match, but the acquisition costs would probably be a lot less than $1.5b since last I checked, EK is trading at below cash on hand. If Apple were interested in the patent portfolio, they could spin off or shut down nearly everything else, probably at little net cost.
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