Kodak finally found a buyer for its 1,100-patent digital imaging portfolio, and an end to its bankruptcy may be in sight. A consortium led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp. and including Apple, Google, Adobe, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft, Research in Motion, HTC, Huawei and Shutterfly will acquire the patents. This is good news for Kodak, but Alexander Poltorak comments on why Kodak's patent auction didn't produce the kind of bidding bonanza that Nortel Networks' patent auction did in 2011. ("Kodak in $525 mln patent deal, eyes bankruptcy end" Reuters.com - December 19, 2012)
Article excerpt: Kodak's patents hit the market as intellectual property values have soared and technology companies have plowed money into patent-related litigation.
For example, last year Nortel Networks sold 6,000 wireless patents in a bankruptcy auction for $4.5 billion and earlier this year Google spent $12.5 billion for patent-rich Motorola Mobility.
But Kodak's patent auction dragged on beyond the initial expectation that it would be wrapped up in August. One patent specialist blamed those early, overly optimistic valuations, which he said encouraged Kodak's team to set their sights too high.
"Unfortunately (Kodak's management) was misled into thinking it was worth billions of dollars and it wasn't," said Alex Poltorak, chairman of General Patent Corp, a patent licensing firm. "I think they sold them at a very good price."
He said after Google acquired Motorola, the search engine company no longer needed patents at any price, deflating the intellectual property market.