While the general media tends to paint all the players in the smartphones industry as bitter rivals, there are many places where they can get along and even work together for mutual benefit. The imaging titan, Kodak, has decided to put its imaging patents up for sale, as a result of its decline since the dawn of digital imaging.
RIM, Google, Facebook and others have worked together in a consortium to bid for a porfolio of patents where Kodak hopes to return to profitability in 2013 following the monetization of its patents. For RIM, it is essential that they remain in possession (or at least in partion possession) of key patents in the industry. For Kodak, the move is seen as part of its strategy to refocus on its core business. The purchase of the patents should cost $525 million US, of which RIM will pay a fraction of.
Read on further for the official press release:
Consortium organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation to pay approximately $525 million for purchase and licenses of patents
Builds on Kodak’s momentum toward a successful emergence in the first half of 2013
Company Website: http://www.kodak.com
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — (Business Wire)
Eastman Kodak Company has completed a series of agreements that successfully monetizes its digital imaging patents.
The proposed transaction, which achieves one of Kodak’s key restructuring objectives, follows other recent major accomplishments that include an agreement for interim and exit financing for the company’s emergence from its Chapter 11 restructuring, and resolution of U.S. retiree non-pension benefits liabilities. Kodak’s monetization of IP assets further builds on its momentum toward a successful emergence in the first half of 2013.
Under the agreements, Kodak will receive approximately $525 million, a portion of which will be paid by 12 intellectual property licensees organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, with each licensee receiving rights with respect to the digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents. Another portion will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which is acquiring the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to these new licenses, as well as previously existing licenses.
“This monetization of patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence,” Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said. “Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company. This proposed transaction enables Kodak to repay a substantial amount of our initial DIP loan, satisfy a key condition for our new financing facility, and position our Commercial Imaging business for further growth and success.”
The transaction enables the company to continue innovating in its core Commercial Imaging technologies that are fundamental to its future. Commercial Imaging is a business in which Kodak has significant competitive advantages and strong growth prospects.
“Kodak remains a major center of invention and innovation,” Perez said.
The transaction also 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 the operations of its core future businesses.
The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court and the satisfaction of certain customary conditions.