Kodak agrees £322m sale of patents to secure funding

Have your say

Eastman Kodak agreed to sell its digital imaging patents for about $525m (£322m), a key step to bringing the photography pioneer out of bankruptcy in the first half of 2013.

The deal for the 1,100 patents allows Kodak to fulfil a condition for securing $830m (£510m) in financing.

The patent deal was reached with a consortium led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp, and which includes some of the world’s biggest technology companies, which will license or acquire the patents.

Those companies are Adobe Systems, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Fujifilm, Google, Huawei Technologies, HTC, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Samsung Electronics and Shutterfly, according to court documents.

Kodak still must sell its personalised and document-imaging businesses as part of the financing package, and also has to resolve its UK pension obligation.

Kodak said the patent deal puts it on a path to emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2013.

“Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company,” said Antonio Perez, chairman and chief executive of the Rochester, New York-based company.

The patent portfolio was expected to be a major asset for Kodak when it filed for bankruptcy in January. An outside firm had estimated the patents could be worth as much as $2.6bn.

Kodak’s patents hit the market as intellectual property values have soared and technology companies have ploughed money into patent-related litigation.

Last year Nortel Networks sold 6,000 wireless patents in a bankruptcy auction for $4.5bn and earlier this year Google spent $12.5bn for patent-rich Motorola Mobility.