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Kodak Patents Sold for $525 Million 117

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the doctor-strangelove dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Intellectual Ventures and RPX Rational Patent, two companies frequently referred to as patent trolls, have snapped up the troubled Kodak company's imaging patents. Bloomberg reports that Kodak has agreed to sell the patent portfolio for $525 million, despite previous valuations of over $2 billion." New submitter speedplane adds "How many stories have we read hating on the biggest patent troll of them all? Finally we see Intellectual Ventures making their case in a Wired op-ed, filled with everything you would would expect from a company suing the tech world on thousands of dubious patents: '...the system needs intermediaries within the market — companies like Intellectual Ventures — to help sift through and navigate the published landscape. By developing focused expertise, these patent licensing entities and intermediaries can function as patent aggregators, assembling portfolios of relevant inventions and providing access through licensing.' And my favorite gem: 'Ultimately, the users of those products — you — are the ones who benefit.'"
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Kodak Patents Sold for $525 Million

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  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:13PM (#42338157)

    i read the article and 12 companies are fronting the money for this with the ownership split between 2 holding companies

    apple, google, facebook, and others are the ones buying up the patents. IV and RPX are just the holding companies to avoid nasty lawsuits about licensing terms

  • by cfulton (543949) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:00PM (#42338631)
    Now you know how to make a car analogy!! Rock on my friend.
  • by mordenkhai (1167617) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:15PM (#42338801)
    As usual the summary tells a tiny bit and its not the whole story so from the article here is your answer:

    A group including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) agreed to buy patents from bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. for about $525 million, gaining the right to use the digital technology to capture and share photos.

    The group is led by Intellectual Ventures Management LLC and RPX Corp. (RPXC), Kodak said in a statement today. Google, Apple and RIM are among the 12 companies that will license the patents in the deal, according to a court filing. Under the terms, Intellectual Ventures will split the payment with the licensees.

    Facebook Inc. (FB), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) also are part of the group, the court filing shows, along with Samsung Electronics Co., Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), Fujifilm Holdings Corp. (4901), Huawei Technologies Co., HTC Corp. (2498) and Shutterfly Inc. (SFLY) The auctioned patents -- more than 1,100 related to the capture, manipulation and sharing of digital images -- were previously estimated by advisory firm 284 Partners LLC to be worth as much as $2.6 billion.

    “This is a fraction of our overall patent portfolio,” said Chris Veronda, a spokesman for Rochester, New York-based Kodak. “We retain ownership of about 9,600 other patents for our ongoing businesses.” The agreement resolves all patent-infringement lawsuits between Kodak and the 12 licensees, Veronda said. That includes suits Kodak had against Apple, RIM, Fujifilm, HTC, Samsung and Shutterfly. In a May filing, Kodak had said Apple alone owed it more than $1 billion in patent royalties.
  • by tgd (2822) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:29PM (#42338963)

    Great. So we've gone from big companies sueing each other into oblivion, to big companies forming powerful patent cabals. Must suck to be part of a start-up.

    No, that's how the economy has worked since the start of the industrial revolution, and precisely the intent of patent law. Its been just fine for startups for 200 years. You either pay to license IP, or you develop something substantial enough on your own to warrant cross-licensing.

    Google "patent thicket" and get reading. Of particular interest are loom and sewing machine companies of the 1800's, the telegraph companies of the 1800's and the mechanical calculator companies of the late 19th and early 20th century. There's some good stories to be had there, and they'll open your eyes.

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