Bankrupt Kodak Postpones Patent Portfolio Sale Indefinitely

By Joseph Mandour on September 14, 2012

Patent PortfolioOrange County – Eastman Kodak Co. has put off its sale of its digital imaging patent portfolio due to difficulty finding buyers and may try to simply license the patents instead, the company said in a bankruptcy court filing Friday.

In July the Manhattan bankruptcy court approved the bidding procedures for the conduct of a competitive process for the sale of all or any portion of Kodak’s digital imaging patent assets to one or more successful bidders, in order to aid Kodak’s emergence from Chapter 11 restructuring.

The final sale hearing, at which Kodak was to seek the court’s approval of the consummation of the sale, was originally scheduled for August but subsequently pushed back three times.

“Although discussions with participants in the auction continue, rather than filing additional serial extensions of the sale hearing date, the debtors (after consulting with the reviewing creditors) are adjourning the sale hearing until further notice,” Kodak said in Friday’s filing.

Kodak said it is continuing to explore other alternatives with respect to the digital imaging patent assets, and its intellectual property more broadly, and may not reach acceptable terms for the patents via the auction process.

In the event that a potential transaction does not occur, Kodak is consulting with the reviewing creditors with respect to the retention of the patent portfolio and the creation of a newly-formed licensing company as a source of recovery for creditors in the plan of reorganization.

Prospective buyers for the patents include a consortium of unlikely allies including Apple Inc. and Google Inc., but their bids thus far have reportedly disappointed Kodak.

The approximately 1,100 patents in Kodak’s portfolio could be worth up to $2.6 million, according to some news reports.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement