Fuel To The Fire: Kodak To Sell Off Patents

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Eastman Kodak has opened the gates to its intellectual property as the beleaguered imaging company tries to capitalise on the sale of its patents.

Speculation that Kodak could strike a lucrative deal propelled a 26 percent gain in the company’s stock price with its shares rising 55 cents to US$2.69 on the New York Stock Exchange.

However – despite a growing frenzy around patents that can be used in smartphones and other mobile devices – some observers are questioning the ultimate value of Kodak’s patents. That’s because it has already struck numerous patent licensing deals with mobile phone makers involving the very patents it is now putting on the auction block.

There is also a concern that – given current trends – an acquirer of the Kodak patents would be subject to lawsuits.

Kodak’s licensing strategy brought in $1.9 billion from 2008 to 2010, but the flow of settlements dried up this year, prompting the company to look more seriously at flogging the patents, a board member told The Wall Street Journal.

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