Kodak Patent Deal approved by US Judge
Technology companies including RIM, Apple and Google won court approval of a $527 million deal for Eastman Kodak Co. patents that are being sold as part of Kodak’s bid to exit bankruptcy protection.
The agreement, approved at a hearing Friday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in Manhattan, is worth less than the more than $2 billion value of the patents estimated by a Kodak advisory firm.
Gropper acknowledged that the company was “disappointed” in the price.
“But we’re moving the case forward, so we should be optimistic,” he said.
The group, which also includes Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Samsung came together after Kodak won bankruptcy court approval last year to auction more than 1,000 patents related to the capture, manipulation and sharing of digital images.
Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January last year and began the auction in August. The company said in court papers that a previous estimate of as much $2.6 billion for the patents “was not achievable.”
Michael Torkin, an attorney for Kodak, said the sale agreement is the best deal the company could get and that it achieves “patent peace” by settling litigation. Kodak has said it will receive about $525 million from the transaction.