Kodak are now going to sell their patents instead

Instead of suing people with them that is.

Recently Kodak has been struggling. They used to be known for making camera film, cameras, digital cameras, printing equipment and no doubt some other stuff. More recently though they have been known for making budget digital cameras and budget printers. Neither really made Kodak much money.

So much so that in January this year Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection. This was granted and they then had to come up with a plan to save the company. In recent times one of the main revenue streams for Kodak had been patent protection. They licensed technologies to Samsung, LG, Motorola and Nokia. In May Kodak decided to target Apple and Rim, this case was “won” by Apple and Rim where the court decided that they weren’t using Kodaks patents.

Kodak then decided they were going to sell the patents instead. The patents apparently have made Kodak $3bn since 2001. So not really a money maker. Kodak have suggested the 1100 plus patents are worth $2.6bn and it has been reported that Apple and Google are both involved in bidding for these patents.

I am guessing neither of these two firms are bothered about how much money these patents will make them. They are obviously just going to make things harder for other firms with future camera based lawsuits.

To make matters worse both Apple and Google seem to have took on a “Patent Troll” type company to help with the patent bidding. Patent Troll companies are firms that buy up patents and then sue companies infringing these patents, yet they don’t actually make any products using the patents. So it is becoming clear that both sides mean business.

The winning bidder will be announced on August the 13th, so expect some camera based lawsuit to be announced on the 14th.

Sources – BBCReuters