Apple, Google Reportedly Team up To Buy Kodak Patents; Kodak Less-Than Thrilled

rated by 0 users
This post has 14 Replies | 1 Follower

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,356
Points 1,191,525
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Sun, Aug 19 2012 12:37 PM
Kodak LogoWhen Kodak filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, the company made it clear that selling off its digital imaging patents was a key part of its strategy. The company had hoped to raise as much as $2.5 billion from selling off its war chest, which is why rumors of a partnership between Google and Apple,  have the erstwhile film giant backpedaling. At present, bidding is reportedly around the $500 million mark. That's considerably higher than the opening price the auction kicked off with, but a fraction of the cash Kodak hoped to earn.

The company is now saying that it may not sell certain intellectual assets, while Google, Samsung, and Apple have reportedly joined forces to explicitly avoid the kind of bidding war that Kodak obviously hoped to create. Teaming up could bring government regulators knocking to ensure that the firms didn't collude to depress the value of the IP, but it also avoids costly litigation later on. Jointly-purchased patents would create an island of stability in the fractious relationship between the three companies and could help create a cooperative environment rather than the vicious legal battles we've seen to date.


The iconic Kodak building in Rochester, NY

"If they commit to licensing on reasonable rates, there's likely no antitrust problem," said Michael Carrier, a patent-law expert at Rutgers University, Camden. "But if the companies divvy up the patents with no intention of letting others use the patents, you've potentially got trouble." Other bidders reportedly interested in the patent chest include Samsung, LG, and HTC. Digital imaging is a key component of modern phones, but Kodak's previous licensing agreements earned it $3 billion before this sale. Companies that have already licensed the technology at reasonable terms are unlikely to be as interested in paying a premium, particularly when Kodak's lawsuits have largely come to naught.

Whether or not Kodak can afford to sell the patents at a fraction of its initial price is another question altogether. The company's bid to launch lawsuits against alleged infringers did not go well this year; it launched lawsuits against Samsung, Apple, and RIM but lost the latter two in June. Kodak wants to create further business around its printer market segment but was counting on a major cash influx to jump-start the reorganized business. The company has pushed back the auction's end date twice thus far, but won't be able to do so indefinitely. Kodak still has ~$1.3B in cash on hand, but has a $660M bankruptcy payment coming due in the next few weeks.
  • | Post Points: 95
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 501
Points 4,625
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: centennial park az
AKnudson replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 2:29 PM

Kodak's Last several attempts to gain revenues since their January filing of class 11 bankruptcy have been sketchy. They first chose to try and improve their capital by filling large amounts of litigation to defend their patent rights, however that didn't work and as the article says they are now trying to auction off their patent rights, hoping to make the erstwhile enemies google and apple fight toth and nail while kodak reaps the benefits.

However probably due to the close relatonship between googles, Ceo Eric Schmidt and the Apple board, coming from the fact the Eric was on the apple Board of Directors. Apple and Google finally have come together in the bid for Kodak IP rights and the result should be better for the whole industry.

Kodak is floundering however the once legendary film mogul has gone down hill and they seem to be poor losers, they file for bankruptcy and then litigate because they can't compete in the current market place, turning into a patent piranha is bad for the industry and in the long run will do nothing fr Kodak.

The effect of a duo between google and apple could open doors for some truly great innovations. Kodak should sell their patent rights and let the industry move forward, with the aim to become a contributing technology company once again instead of a dead carcass tied to the heels of their competitors.

  • | Post Points: 50
Not Ranked
Posts 13
Points 90
Joined: Jun 2012
mernerion replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 2:36 PM

Just read through this web page http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/19/news/companies/kodak_bankruptcy/index.htm

I would not want to have any association with Kodak right now.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 38
Points 400
Joined: Aug 2012
LKnudson replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 3:00 PM

Kodak had a viable market plan for selling their patents, and it seemed extremely unlikely that Apple and Google would team up to share patents. Apple and Google teaming up to short change Kodak could very well be another violation of the anti-trust laws that Google is already having issues with. I have to disagree you with you Aknudson that Kodak is a carcass dragging down their competitors. After reorganizing and making some small financial changes Kodak could still be a viable business that still competes in todays market.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 1,076
Points 11,645
Joined: Jul 2009
Joel H replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 3:58 PM

Are you two related? :P

LK,

I'd love to agree, but it's tough to see how. Does Kodak still have brand recognition? Absolutely. But what else does it have?

That's not meant to sound snide; I just don't see a way forward for the company. The time to build digital brands was literally 20 years ago, now it's trying to play catch-up in printers to companies like HP. That's not a winning business strategy, and it doesn't give Kodak a way to leverage its greatest historic strengths. The market for those strengths doesn't *exist* anymore.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 207
Points 1,845
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Erakith replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 5:11 PM

Couldn't agree more here.

It's been interesting to see Kodak's old competitors continue to do well (Canon, for example) whilst Kodak is left floundering.

I'd like to see Apple and Google (and others) come to a patent sharing agreement, but divvying up patents is a horrible idea. I do hope that if this comes to pass, we get the former option. Tired of this patent war crap.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 290
Points 2,255
Joined: Aug 2012

Exactly. Need to be more in the idea of pure inovation instead of just reveue. No more suing just a healthy competion.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 257
Points 3,190
Joined: Aug 2012
Jaybk26 replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 7:41 PM

After seeing Apple's relations with other companies over the past few years I can't imagine how Apple would share the patents. But I definitely think Kodak is a dying business, it's peak passed long ago.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 8,686
Points 104,335
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
MembershipAdministrator
Moderator
realneil replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 8:15 PM

Kodak ~could~ have innovated years ago, but they didn't. IDK why either.

Now their moat is stagnant and the paint is peeling from their walls.

Oh well,.........bye Kodak.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 38
Points 400
Joined: Aug 2012
LKnudson replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 9:38 PM

Me and AlanK are brothers, he got me on this site :D

If Kodak refinanced and got some good head programmers that were going to start being innovative they could eventually earn back their "brand recognition" It would take some time and a few good ideas but the company isn't completely lost yet

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 501
Points 4,625
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: centennial park az
AKnudson replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 10:10 PM

Come on Levi its Aknudson. You know that.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,795
Points 40,670
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: New York
Inspector replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 11:44 PM

If kodak were to have a comeback, i think they would basically be like a brand new company starting from scratch except for having a brand name part. There is also the issue where the current brands have the lead and most consumers on their side already.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 4
Points 35
Joined: Aug 2012
longyagh replied on Mon, Aug 20 2012 9:05 AM

However probably due to the close relatonship between googles, Ceo Eric Schmidt and the Apple board, coming from the fact the Eric was on the apple Board of Directors. Apple and Google finally have come together in the bid for Kodak IP rights and the result should be better for the whole industry.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 4
Points 35
Joined: Aug 2012
longyagh replied on Mon, Aug 20 2012 9:14 AM

However probably due to the close relatonship between googles, Ceo Eric Schmidt and the Apple board, coming from the fact the Eric was on the apple Board of Directors. Apple and Google finally have come together in the bid for Kodak IP rights and the result should be better for the whole industry.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 501
Points 4,625
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: centennial park az
AKnudson replied on Mon, Aug 20 2012 6:27 PM

Kodak has some good brand recognition but they have lost virtually all of their brand respect. The best scenario would be for Kodak to reemerge with the same innovative drive that used to propel the once behemoth of film.

The Kodak name has lost a huge portion of their customer base, they would have to come back up as a small competitor with an experienced edge and a chip on their shoulder.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (15 items) | RSS