Earlier this year, the once popular photography company Kodak filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy after posting losses for nearly five consecutive years. It was later discovered that Kodak would be selling off its large digital imaging patent portfolio, and that deal has now been completed with a consortium consisting of 12 licensees for $525 million.
Apple and Google are among the dozen licensees involved in the deal, according to the official court documentation filed by Kodak on Wednesday. Other heavyweights in the tech industry, including Adobe, Amazon, Facebook, HTC, Microsoft, RIM and Samsung, are also named. Fujifilm, Shutterfly Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. round off the twelve licensees.
While these patents will certainly help each company better protect itself in the courtroom, hopefully we don’t see an increase in patent litigation because of these Kodak patents changing hands. The consumer electronics industry is already plagued by too many legal battles between companies, highlighted by the Apple-Samsung legal battle. One can only hope that we won’t have to hear about any more lawsuits.