In a previous interview with TheStreet.com, Alexander Poltorak compared the Kodak patent auction to similar companies - among them, InterDigital. Now that InterDigital has cancelled the sale of its patent portfolio, Dr. Poltorak and other IP experts are speculating how successful (if at all) Kodak will be in selling its patents, litigating its various patent infringement lawsuits and surviving its cash crisis. ("Kodak's Bankruptcy Plan Slugged by InterDigital Sale Failure" TheStreet.com - January 23, 2012)
Article excerpt: Both [Kodak and InterDigital] contain portfolios of patents that are encumbered by years of licensing agreements, which may make them harder to value and sell, according to a patent expert. Kodak and InterDigital's common failure to sell patent portfolios may also mark a turning point in the patent M&A wars being waged in Silicon Valley, which yielded multiple billion dollar plus deals in 2011.
"It's very difficult to sell patents which have so many encumbrances," says Alexander Poltorak, CEO of General Patent Corporation, about Kodak's patents in a January interview prior to the firm's bankruptcy. Poltorak compared Kodak's patent portfolio to those at InterDigital and Tessera Technologies in its size and previous monetization through licenses.
Heavily licensed patents are difficult to value because buyers would need to see how far partnerships travel and if infringement claims are already protected by previous settlements, said Poltorak. In contrast, Motorola Mobility's portfolio - which was a key in its $12.5 billion sale to Google - was much less burdened. "[Motorola Mobility] has been very careful about licensing their patent portfolio... [That's] why Google was interested in buying them," added Poltorak in an early January interview.