Late last week, Kodak was dealt a blow by the International Trade Commission, which upheld a judge’s ruling that Apple and RIM didn’t infringe on digital image preview technology. Kodak had been hoping to get a $1 billion settlement. The patent at issue is No. 218 and it’s technology is in most cameras.
The Wall Street Journal reports this ruling was a blow in another way. It may have drastically reduced the value of the patents Kodak is trying to sell. Kodak had estimated the digital image portfolio could be worth $2.6 billion. WSJ interviewed one expert who says the ruling will hurt big time and another who said it won’t:
“Any time one of your prime assets is considered invalid, it hurts the overall value of your patents in a major way,” says Dean Becker, chief executive of ICAP Patent Brokerage, which is advising clients with interest in the portfolio. Mr. Becker says future bids, which are due July 30, are likely to come in lower.
“We wouldn’t expect the ITC decision to have a significant effect on potential bidders, because there is an understanding that this was always going to be decided by the federal court, regardless of who brought the appeal, and the federal court has great latitude in this respect,” the person said.
But patent experts have been less enthusiastic about the value of Kodak’s portfolio, which involves patents related to imaging—a key function of smartphones, but not related to core mobile-communication technologies. Kodak’s patents have also been heavily licensed, diminishing their future value, patent experts said.
The patent sale is crucial to Kodak’s emergence from bankruptcy.
Links of the Day:
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