Eastman Kodak is prepping for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that could put an interesting twist in the patent wars.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Kodak is looking for $1 billion in debtor-in possession financing, which keeps companies running in a restructuring, with the idea that it would sell its 1,100 patents in an auction.
In other words, Kodak is betting that it can land capital like Nortel Networks did---via a bankruptcy court auction. Kodak is trying to sell the patents to avoid a bankruptcy filing.
Kodak's patents could come in handy in the ongoing patent wars. All smartphones have digital photography technology.
In a recent research note, Rafferty Capital analyst Mark Kaufman noted:
In an effort to accelerate the monetization of it intellectual property, Kodak has been seeking the sale of its 1,100 digital imaging patents since late summer. There has been serious interest by various companies, but delays in the final determination by the U.S. ITC in the patent infringement action brought by Kodak against Apple and RIM, has potentially delayed a meeting of the minds on price.
According to Kaufman, Kodak could eye a joint venture for its intellectual property.