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September 17, 2012

Kodak may abandon plans to sell digital imaging patents

The company said it could instead set up a new licensing company

By CBR Staff Writer

Eastman Kodak said it may abandon plans to sell its portfolio of digital imaging patents at an auction as part of its plan to raise money to climb out of bankruptcy.

The company said it could instead set up a new licensing company to help repay creditors in its bankruptcy case.

In August 2012, Eastmam Kodak had revealed plans to sell its camera-film business and focus to commercial printing to scramble out of bankruptcy.

The company had received bids from the technology firms Apple and Google below $500m, far lower than company’s expectations.

Kodak said it would explore other alternatives for its portfolio of 1,100 digital imaging patents which the company claims to be worth about $2.6bn to climb out of bankruptcy.

The company needs $700m to pay its creditors and emerge from bankruptcy, which include $668m to The Bank of New York Mellon, $16.7m to Sony Studios, $14.2m to Warner Brothers and $2.8m to Alcoa.

Previously, Kodak revealed its plans to sell some of its business segments that include camera-film business and cut 1,000 jobs.

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In March 2012, Eastman Kodak had agreed to sell its online photo services business to Shutterfly for $23.8m.

In July 2012, Kodak filed a lawsuit in US bankruptcy court in Manhattan against Apple accusing the company infringement of 10 patents related to their joint work on the QuickTake digital camera undertaken in the early 1990s.

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in January, and needs to repay a $950m loan that it obtained to keep operating while in bankruptcy.

In July, an appeals court in the US ruled that Kodak does not infringe Apple’s digital imaging patents.

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