The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, New York reported on the ongoing efforts of Eastman Kodak to stay afloat. With its patent auction plans in tatters, the Rochester-based corporate icon is rumored to be moving toward cutting jobs, selling parts of the business, and decreasing benefit payments to Kodak retirees. Alexander Poltorak discusses the difficulties Kodak faces in making money from the very patents the company had assumed were a sure thing. ("After 6 weeks of trying, Kodak may abandon effort to sell patents" Democrat and Chronicle - September 14, 2012)
Article excerpt: Kodak began the patent auction process on Aug. 8, expecting to wrap it up in just a few days. Since then, the Rochester icon has delayed bringing it to conclusion.
“The process is proving very complicated,” Veronda said. “It is taking longer than we expected.”
He declined to give any details on the complications that have delayed a deal, except to say, “There are multiple parties involved.”
But the problem almost surely came down to the bids falling far short of what Kodak had wanted, said Alexander Poltorak, CEO of General Patent Corp., a Rockland County [New York] intellectual property services firm.
A firm hired by Kodak had put a potential price tag on the patents of as much as $2.4 billion. Poltorak said the value is probably closer to $250 million because of all the intellectual property licensing agreements already tied to them.
Kodak said Friday in its bankruptcy court filing that it is considering creation of a company to focus on licensing the patents. That route has generated big returns for the company in recent years — $3 billion since 2003 in the form of deals struck with companies such as Canon Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sony Corp.
Kodak also has been waging a pitched legal fight with Apple Inc., claiming the technology giant is using Kodak-patented technology in its products.
If Kodak gets out of bankruptcy, it could realize good financial returns from such intellectual property licensing and protection efforts, Poltorak said. “The trick is, how do they get out of this mess?”