Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kodak sells imaging patents

Most people age 30 and older know Kodak as the maker of film for cameras (people younger than 30 mostly know digital cameras).  Those of us at the Registry of Deeds also know Kodak for its imaging equipment.  Imaging, also known as scanning, first arrived here at the registry in Lowell in 1994.  Since then, we have used a variety of scanners and software that carried the Kodak name.  The products usually worked well although they were quite expensive.

With film photography becoming a historic artifact, however, Kodak fell upon hard times and filed bankruptcy last year.  The company's latest strategy stresses its commercial printing products which leaves unused or underused several thousand patents related to its imaging efforts.  Yesterday Kodak announced that as part of its bankruptcy, it is selling 1500 patents to a consortium of technology companies including Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Fujifilm, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, RIM, Samsung and Shutterfly.  The sales price was $575 million.   Analysts content that this sale will not lead to new capabilities by these companies but instead will shield them from patent infringement lawsuits from Kodak. 

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