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Can IP Save Kodak?! 2011/08/17

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Curating, Digital Archives, Intellectual Property.
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All these rapid changes in the wireles, mobile world, seem to suggest a new paradigm emerging.  Which leads some to wonder about Kodak, George Eastman’s beloved photographic cash cow.
“The intellectual property hustle used to be so simple: purer, even. Patent holders extracted licensing fees, lump-sum settlements or cross-licensing agreements from nonholders, who paid up to avoid messy lawsuits or injunctions. It was a drag for almost everyone involved, but the stakes were comparatively small. Now, multibillion-dollar portfolio sales have put blood in the water, attracting an entirely different kind of shark.

We’ve already seen this play out once with Motorola. It’s easy to forget now that just a few weeks before Google stepped in to buy the company, investor Carl Icahn publicly and privately urged Motorola to sell off its patents, either for cash or by (again) splitting up the company. . . . Now we have the formula. It’s playing out with RIM, which is getting pressure to sell, license or spin off itspatent portfolio. Never mind that RIM’s intellectual property, or IP, might not actually be as intrinsically valuable as Nortel’s, Novell’s or Motorola’s. . . .

Right now, it looks like a seller’s market. Because nobody seems to be kicking the tires to see exactly what they’re buying, the conventional wisdom is to sell. Like Motorola a few weeks ago, RIM is in a tough spot, so this pressure is hard to resist. If RIM were to publicly announce that it wasn’t for sale, its already-weakened stock, temporarily buoyant from acquisition rumors, would fall to the ground.

It’s even harder for Kodak, which really does have a substantial patent portfolio and is in an even weaker market position. On Wednesday, Bloomberg ran an analyst-driven story titled “Kodak Worth Five Times More in Breakup With $3 Billion Patents“: . . . A company that’s lost billions of dollars over the decade, sporting a market cap of less than $700 million, begins to look like a much better buy if you think it’s sitting on $3 billion in assets. It looks even better if you think it might win a billion-dollar infringement suit against Apple and RIM, which has been dragging out in the International Trade Commission for years but may finally be decided soon.

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/08/patent-game-kodak/

 

and if yr interested, why not check out what’s doing at the George Eastman House – International Museum of Photography!

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