Judge approves Kodak patent sale to Apple, Google, others

Summary:A U.S. bankruptcy court approves the sale of 1,100 Kodak patents to a bevy of technology firms, but at a fraction of the price they were valued at.

Roughly a year after printing and imaging giant Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of more than one thousand patents to Apple, Google, Microsoft and others, in a bid to generate much needed cash for the ailing firm.

The trouble is, the patents were valued at around $2-2.5 billion and yet they sold for $525 million -- around one quarter their estimated value -- to Intellectual Ventures, which licenses the patents to Apple, Research in Motion, Facebook, Google, HTC, Adobe, and numerous other technology firms.

U.S. judge Allan Gropper approved today a package of sales and licenses for 1,100 digital imaging patents belonging to Kodak, which have been the cornerstone of the firm's claw-back out of bankruptcy after receiving a $830 million loan to stay above the bankruptcy surface.

Gropper said he was "disappointed" in the price, according to Bloomberg, but noted: "We're moving the case forward so we should be optimistic."

Kodak's patents that related to the capture, manipulation and sharing of digital pictures.

The money from the patent sale will be used on the most part to repay the financial firms who have loaned cash to Kodak during its time of financial difficulties. Kodak reportedly owes about $665 million to lenders, according to an attorney representing Kodak.

Topics: Legal, Banking

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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