Kodak closes its digital imaging patent sale, settles disputes

Kodak has had many scary moments in its recent history, not the least of which was wondering whether or not it could sell digital imaging patents to help escape bankruptcy. It's putting some of that trauma to rest now that it has officially closed the recently approved sale. The $527 million deal shares 1,100 patents with a complex web of companies, including Apple and Google, operating under alliances led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX. The buyers intend to use the patents as defenses against imaging-related lawsuits, and they've agreed to settle any remaining legal entanglements with Kodak in the process. Kodak still stands to gain the most from the deal, however: the cash helps repay a large chunk of a key loan, and it reassures the potential financiers that the company needs to leave bankruptcy by mid-2013. We still won't get back the Kodak we once knew, but the name will at least soldier on.

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Kodak Completes $527 Million Transaction Related to Digital Imaging Patents

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eastman Kodak Company has completed a transaction for the sale and licensing of its digital imaging patents for net proceeds of $527 million.

The transaction, which achieves one of Kodak's key restructuring objectives, follows other recent major accomplishments that include final Court approval last week for the company's interim and exit financing. Kodak's monetization of IP assets further builds on its momentum toward emergence in mid-2013.

A portion of the $527 million was paid by 12 intellectual property licensees organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation. Another portion was paid by Intellectual Ventures, which acquired a substantial majority of the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to these new licenses, as well as previously existing licenses.

"The licensing and sale of our digital imaging patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence," Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said. "We are on track to emerge as a profitable, sustainable company."

The completion of the sale enables Kodak to repay a substantial amount of its initial DIP loan, satisfy a key condition for its newly approved financing facility, and position its core Commercial Imaging business for future growth and success.

Kodak retains significant competitive advantages and strong growth prospects in its core Commercial Imaging businesses. In addition to retaining rights to use the 1,100 digital imaging patents sold in the transaction, Kodak maintains ownership of about 9,600 patents, including many focused on its core business.

The transaction includes an agreement to settle current patent-related litigation between the participants and Kodak, which avoids additional litigation costs and helps to ensure that management and the company's resources focus on enhancing core operations.