Photography giant Kodak has been circling the drain as its fortunes have taken a turn for the worse. The company entered bankruptcy protection from creditors a while back and has been eyeing a patent auction to help generate money to reorganizing and come back from bankruptcy. The problem for Kodak so far has been in that the patent auction has generated very little interest.
Another big problem for Kodak and its patent auction plans was that Apple, and a company called FlashPoint objected to some of the patents that Kodak planned to put up for auction. Apple claimed ownership of 10 of the patents Kodak is trying to sell as part of a Kodak and Apple collaboration on the QuickTake camera in the 90s. Kodak denied either of the two companies own any of the patents in its portfolio.
Despite Apple’s objections and claims of ownership for some of the patents, the court cleared the way for buyers to submit bids on a confidential basis for the auction expected to be held early next month. The auction will be for two patent bundles with one containing about 700 patents covering image capture, processing, and transmission technologies for digital cameras and other devices. The second portfolio has about 400 patents covering tools for image analysis, manipulation, tagging, and more.
“The Apple and FlashPoint claims are baseless and Kodak will still seek dismissal on summary judgment in July,” Timothy Lynch, Kodak Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer, said.