Kodak Given Court OK to Auction Patent Portfolios
ROCHESTER, NY—Eastman Kodak obtained approval from the bankruptcy court to conduct an auction to sell its digital capture and Kodak Imaging Systems and Services (KISS) patent portfolios.
Kodak reported that its motion was contested by Apple Inc. and FlashPoint Technologies, which asserted “ownership” interests in a small number of the 1,100 patents in the portfolios. The court found that all of the patents in the digital capture and KISS patent portfolios are property of Kodak’s estate. Kodak said it was granted the right to sell these patents free and clear of Apple and FlashPoint’s claims at the auction, subject to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
“We are gratified that the court has enabled us to move ahead with our patent auction in a timely manner and with clarity on ownership for the winning buyer,” said Timothy Lynch, Kodak vice president and chief intellectual property officer.
As previously announced, interested buyers will be able to submit bids on a confidential basis, subject to review by Kodak, certain of its creditors and the bankruptcy court. The auction is expected to be held in early August.
Kodak is selling the patents under section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which permits a sale free and clear of any adverse claim or interest. The patents will be sold in a fair, competitive process overseen by the court. At closing, the winning bidder can obtain an order of the bankruptcy court that protects it against any third-party ownership claims.