Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. will receive about $525 million for its patents.
Part of the $525 million will be paid by 12 intellectual property licensees, organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp. Each licensee will receive rights with respect to the digital imaging patent portfolio and other patents. Another portion of the price will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which will acquire the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to the new licenses, as well as previously existing licenses.
The consortium of intellectual property licensees is comprised of Shutterfly Inc. (Nasdaq: SFLY), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Research in Motion Ltd. (Nasdaq: RIMM), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., HTC Corp., Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Fujifilm Corp., Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), court documents show.
Intellectual Ventures, run by chief executive Nathan Myhrvold, formerly Microsoft's chief technologist, claims to hold 70,000 intellectual property assets in more than 50 technology areas from agriculture to software. Intellectual Ventures also develops inventions and in 2008 spun off one company called TerraPower, which is working on a traveling wave nuclear reactor that seeks to avoid the limitations of current nuclear power plants.
Kodak received four bids during its bidding process, and had two consortium groups participate in the auction. The company determined that Intellectual Ventures had the best bid, but that if it allowed Intellectual Ventures to add to the members in its consortium, the bid could be increased even more, according to court documents.
Kodak had originally valued its digital imaging patents at $2.4 billion when it filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 19. Mergers & Acquisitions reported in August that the company may have overvalued its patents in that estimation.
Kodak, known for pioneering the digital camera, headed to its patent auction process on Aug. 8. Judge Allan Gropper of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan still has to approve the sale.
Kodak, which was founded in 1880, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after years of trying to transform from a film and consumer photography business to a business that focused on proprietary digital and printing technologies.