Bankruptcy Judge OKs Sale of Kodak Digital Patents

Kodak & Co. can sell more than 1,000 digital patents that were in dispute as part of its restructuring proceedings. A federal judge has allowed the company to auction the digital imaging patents, in the face of opposition by Apple and Flashpoints Technology.

More than 1,100 patents will be auctioned off as Eastman Kodak moves forward with its bankruptcy proceedings. The aim is to sell off those patents, and focus on the printing business instead. The patents involve digital capture and imaging technology for smartphones, digital cameras as well as tablets. These patents had generated more than $3 billion of revenues for Kodak over the past decade.

Both Apple and Flashpoint Technology had objected to the sale of the patents, with both companies claiming that they own at least some of the 1100 patents. Kodak filed for bankruptcy petition in January 19, stirring interest not just among bankruptcy experts, but also California patent infringement lawyers because of the size of its patent portfolio. Soon after Kodak announced its plans to file for bankruptcy, Apple announced that it owned at least 10 of Kodak’s patents. According to Apple, the patents came from joint collaborative work that the two companies performed back in the 1990s.

That kicked off a series of lawsuits and counter lawsuits between the 2 companies. Kodak filed a lawsuit against Apple for opposing the sale of the patents.

It was imperative that Kodak get approval to sell the patents, because this was an important part of the $950 million dollar loan the company was given to continue operations during its bankruptcy. A federal court has now given approval for the sale of the digital patents, and the auction will go through in the month of August.

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