Apple, Google, Amazon, others buying Kodak patents for $525 million

Los Angeles TimesDecember 19, 2012 

Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. said it will sell about 1,100 digital-imaging patents for about $525 million to a group that includes Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

The consortium of 12 companies, led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp., also includes a collection of other major technology companies such as BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd., 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 Wednesday in bankruptcy court. So is Shutterfly Inc., which acquired the online Kodak Gallery service in April and then shut it down.

The 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.

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.

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