Kodak patent sale attracting 'large numbers' of interested buyers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Eastman Kodak revealed this week that interest in the company's digital imaging patents is high, as numerous people are seriously considering buying the patent collection.



The photography pioneer announced in July that it was shopping around its 1,100 digital imaging patents, which make up roughly 10 percent of its patent portfolio.



"At the moment we announced that, the phone started to ring,? Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday.



According to Perez, the company's adviser for the sale has "contacted a large number of people," many of whom have signed confidentiality agreements.



?All of this litigation takes a lot of time, and it?s very expensive and demands a lot of my time,? he said. ?We would rather get an infusion of cash in advance, being able to have a series of relationships with many of those companies that otherwise we?d have to be in legal conflict with.?



Christopher Marlett, CEO of MDB Capital Group, an investment bank which specializes in intellectual property, said Microsoft, Apple, Google and Samsung may bid on the patents.



Shares of Kodak leapt up 11.84 percent to $3.40 on Tuesday. The stock is down 37 percent since the beginning of the year.



Among Kodak's patent collection is one patent that could bring in more than a billion dollars in revenue. The company is currently asserting U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 against Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in an infringement suit with the International Trade Commission, but may be willing to sell the patent to the right buyer.







The company's case against Apple has experienced delays and hangs in uncertainty after the administrative law judge handling the case retired in early August. That judge had previously sided with Apple and RIM, finding the patent to be an "obvious variation of an earlier invention."



A recent valuation of Kodak's digital imaging IP collection estimated it at $3 billion, more than five times the company's market cap at the time. Earlier this month, one investment bank called the company "the lowest hanging fruit out there."



Patent deals have reached record highs in recent months. Google spent $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility, a move largely seen as protecting its Android mobile OS with the handset maker's more than 17,000 patents.



Apple teamed up with a consortium of competitors, including Microsoft, RIM and Sony to outbid Google and Intel for a group of Nortel patents said to have key inventions related to 4G Long-Term Evolution technology. The final bid reached $4.5 billion, more than three times the price expected by some analysts.



Kodak hope to seize the opportunity to receive a lump sum of cash for its patents while interest is peaking. "Given the heightened demand in the marketplace for premium intellectual property assets, we believe that the timing is right and that we have a great opportunity for these very valuable assets," Perez said in July.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,484member
    What will Kodak do for income after they sell their crown jewels?
  • Reply 2 of 18
    naclnacl Posts: 12member
    Here we go again.



    Cue the prices of those patents exploding and the inevitable accusations against the winner of trying to monopolize whatever.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,588member
    Apple would be best to partner with RIM & Microsoft again and buyout Kodak completely.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    What will Kodak do for income after they sell their crown jewels?



    Kodak will then occupy the same ground as Polaroid... the burial ground as they will both be dead.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    What will Kodak do for income after they sell their crown jewels?



    same thing they do right now, sell film to hollywood.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    What will Kodak do for income after they sell their crown jewels?



    Nothing much. Kodak is long gone.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    Kodak still sell printing plates, chemistry, plate-setters, front-end pre-press equipment. I don't know if they're making much money at it, but they do have other markets.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    uiguyuiguy Posts: 27member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    A recent valuation of Kodak's digital imaging IP collection estimated it at $3 billion, more than five times the company's market cap at the time. Earlier this month, one investment bank called the company "the lowest hanging fruit out there."



    [/url][/c]



    Why buy the milk when the cow is cheaper?



    Sounds like the sum of the pieces is worth well more than the current configuration of the whole.



    Anyone want to reconsider that "offer" from Carl Icahn? http://www.forbes.com/2003/11/07/cx_pp_1107kodak.html



  • Reply 9 of 18
    as I looked over the article it occurred to me that Intel, who had partnered with Google on the end bidding for the Nortel IP, was strangely silent as Google went off the deep end on how unfair it all was and how they were being mauled by their "adversaries". Not a peep out of Intel during that entire tirade - or for that matter anytime after the auction completed.



    Makes me wonder if they will partner again with Google if things heat up on the Kodak patents...
  • Reply 10 of 18
    cajuncajun Posts: 95member
    Once Kodak sells off their digital imaging patents, it seems that their glory days will be far behind them. Kodak was the best at chemical imaging; it's hard to imagine that that industry will continue in any capacity, when high-end digital cameras are reaching 24 megapixels.



    Let's face it; a long-term strategy for Kodak would be in licensing the rights to use those patents, not selling them wholesale, and continuing to innovate in the field of digital imaging. Selling the crown jewels can only mean that they're giving up.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    All of the gadget makers should pool cash and buy these patents out, effectively making them public domain.

    Seems like it would save the companies in the long run.

    It would suck for the lawyers, however!
  • Reply 12 of 18
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Applecation View Post


    All of the gadget makers should pool cash and buy these patents out, effectively making them public domain.

    Seems like it would save the companies in the long run.

    It would suck for the lawyers, however!



    That makes way too much sense......the lawyers would probably sue....
  • Reply 13 of 18
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cajun View Post


    Once Kodak sells off their digital imaging patents, it seems that their glory days will be far behind them. Kodak was the best at chemical imaging; it's hard to imagine that that industry will continue in any capacity, when high-end digital cameras are reaching 24 megapixels.



    Let's face it; a long-term strategy for Kodak would be in licensing the rights to use those patents, not selling them wholesale, and continuing to innovate in the field of digital imaging. Selling the crown jewels can only mean that they're giving up.



    Their glory days are already far behind them. The patent market is a bubble so it makes sense to sell these patents before the bubble bursts. Take the money and give it to the shareholders.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    What will Kodak do for income after they sell their crown jewels?



    They should close shop and return money to shareholders
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post


    Kodak still sell printing plates, chemistry, plate-setters, front-end pre-press equipment. I don't know if they're making much money at it, but they do have other markets.



    They also make medical digital imaging equipment. They're not the company they were once obviously, but they didn't go out of business just because nobody uses Brownie box cameras anymore.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    They also make medical digital imaging equipment. They're not the company they were once obviously, but they didn't go out of business just because nobody uses Brownie box cameras anymore.



    Seems to me that Apple should buy the company outright now (for double it's market cap - they can afford it), strip out the ip they want, and then rebrand the company other operations and ipo it.



    The problem for Kodak is that they are a past glory. The MIcrosoft of their day perhaps? But 100 years on they are struggling for relevancy. (MS - take note).
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post


    Kodak still sell printing plates, chemistry, plate-setters, front-end pre-press equipment. I don't know if they're making much money at it, but they do have other markets.



    They are not making much money at that. As someone who works in the industry I can tell you they are a minor player these days compared to the likes of Agfa and to a lesser extent Fuji.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    The patent market is a bubble...



    Glad someone gets it! I was beginning to suspect it myself. This bl**dy herd mentality of those with oodles of money... It sickens me sometimes. If a few jumped off a financial cliff all would follow to the detriment of the rest of humanity... all because of this herd mentality.
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