Apple, Google, Amazon, more buying Kodak patents for $525 million
Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. said it will sell about 1,100 digital-imaging patents to a group that includes Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc., for about $525 million.
The consortium of 12 companies, led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp., also includes a collection of other major technology companies including BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., Adobe Systems Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. and HTC Corp.
Fujifilm Holdings Corp., whose digital-camera innovations were said to be a factor in Kodak’s decline, is also part of the group, according to a motion filed in bankruptcy court Wednesday. So is Shutterfly Inc., which acquired the online Kodak Gallery service in April and then shut it down.
The approximately $525-million payment will be split between Intellectual Ventures and the 12 intellectual property licensees, according to Kodak. The patent portfolio was initially thought to be worth billions of dollars.
The Rochester, N.Y., company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, said the patent sale will help it emerge from restructuring in the first half of next year.
The transaction also includes an agreement to settle patent-related litigation between Kodak and the participating companies, Kodak said.
The deal must be approved by the bankruptcy court in Manhattan, where Kodak’s case is being considered.
“This monetization of patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence,” Kodak Chief Executive Antonio M. Perez said in a statement. “Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company.”
The company has shed divisions and employees all year as it attempts to reform as a leaner firm focused on commercial printing and packaging services.
Kodak has already gotten rid of its digital-camera sector and is selling the businesses responsible for scanners, film, souvenir photos and more.
In 2012, Kodak will have cut or made plans to cut nearly 4,000 jobs.
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