Kodak Seeking to Sell its Patent Portfolio

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Newt_on_Swings, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...-breakup-with-3-billion-patents-real-m-a.html


    Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903596904576514643605257846.html

    Original links from Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5832041/kodak-embraces-patent-craze-by-selling-its-patent-portfolio

    Saddled with poor earnings, pensions, a struggling digital imaging business, and consumer printing business, Kodak seems to be driving it self to destruction by dismantling its patent portfolio piecemeal. I am actually very disappointed in its management's decision to do this. Seeing that they are still in litigation and awaiting the decision of the US International Trade Commission on infringement of their patents by Apple and RIM, their current decision to sell off now, may indicate that their patents may not hold up. This doesnt sound like it will end well at all. The end is near. =[
     
  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    "Someone is going to buy the company and tear it apart."

    Already been reading this stuff, but didn't want to say anything.

    This is so sad it hurts...

    Ken
     
  3. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    And I was just starting to like Portra 400. :pouty:

    Dammit Kodak don't you screw this up.
     
  4. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    There's still Fuji I suppose :smile:
     
  5. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    Yes Fuji is still there. For how long ? I'm afraid C-41 end is not that far. :cry:
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Darn I hope not!

    Jeff
     
  7. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I read somewhere that Kodak's film business brings in about $2bn revenue per year, including the movie stocks. Even today, that's a big business, and perhaps freed of the past legacies, someone can turn this into a successful business again. Not that long ago, Apple was struggling to meet the next month's payroll (really), but now they are around the most valuable company in the world. Kodak can't do that, but turnarounds happen, and sometimes they happen in a big way.

    Even if the worst happens, and Kodak is liquidated, no liquidator will see a large revenue stream and just close it down.
     
  8. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Looking back I see Kodak was thinking of selling its film business in 2007. Now I sort of wish they had, probably would have made a lot more sense to sell it back then! I think it will be a tougher sell today. I hope it happens so we can continue to get their products but I am not holding my breath. Just when I got into doing my own C-41 and RA-4 too... rats!
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Before we go all "Chicken Little" over this, let's for a change take the time to read around and see what's on the table rather than vapor endlessly about the unknown.
     
  10. arpinum

    arpinum Member

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    I've read around and see this a great news for film, considering the alternative. Kodak management is working hard not to be bought out and have its parts sold off. By selling patents off they seem to be buying time until that can finish a restructuring and bring it back to profitability.
    I see selling the patents rather than selling the company as the better deal for film and film users.

    The 3 billion dollar number seems a bit high for the patents. Big players have already stocked up their patent arsenal. They will go at a much lower price to a patent troll company or similar outfit.

    P.S: The pension shortfall appears to be much higher than is reported by the company. This will scare away some buyers of the firm.
     
  11. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    If the coating technology and plant is modern and paid for I don't see why making and selling film alone couldn't be a nice little revenue stream. Product selection might go down but Tri-X is Tri-X, how much further R&D needs to go into it? There are probably a lot of money losers in Kodak's operations being paid for by the money makers. I'm thinking (hoping) film is a money maker, (maybe only because then I can keep buying the film I most like to use).

    Besides, Kodak's film technology might be the only asset they have not being targeted by the patent jackels. Look at Apple. How much of their asset value is under patent attack? How much is merely public sentiment about its coolness factor? I certainly don't know, and in the case of product sentiment I doubt anyone really does.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it's too late :munch:
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Who wants to go in on a few patents? Group buy?
     
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  15. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Aren't they selling their digital photography patents?
     
  16. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I might have been wiser at one point to have split Kodak it to its respective operational sectors as not to burden other parts of business with shortfalls of the other. Theirs stocks probably would have looked a lot better, thats for sure.

    Their large film plants, even though paid for still carry property taxes, continued maintenance (even if not running), and a payroll with union set salaries. Also sometimes larger pieces of machinery are not all paid for at once, Kodak may still be carry debt on more modern pieces.

    Its a very tough spot Kodak has gotten it self into. I really hope something good might come out of this, and films keep on rolling off their lines.
     
  17. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Personally I don't care who makes my film, I just want to keep shooting it as long as possible. I was at the Iowa State Fair today. Lots and lots of people with cameras. Only 1, that I saw, shooting film. Me. That's why Kodak is going downhill and is potentially headed for the end. Remember RCA? They had marketed themselves with a dog and a phonograph. RCA isn't around anymore, pretty much vanished from the face of the Earth. I think it's because people associated them with old technology. Same with Kodak. Kodak is film, even if they invented digital photography or hugely contributed to it.

    Reality is 99% perception.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak is indeed only selling the digital portfolio of patents.

    PE
     
  19. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    I live in Denver, which gets a respectable tourist traffic both Summer and Winter. People around here don't seem to bat an eye at the tourists with the bulbous dslrs and big zooms. But let me walk around with a battered F and a 28 and they notice. I'm not imagining it. Maybe they have a 35mm at home and just don't know "if it still works", or where to get the film developed. Maybe, seeing me shooting what they recognize as a film camera and not a dslr makes them uneasy, as if they think I know something they don't and maybe they shouldn't have dumped everything for their dslr or 5MP phone. It's weird. I sometimes feel sorry for them, all the Nikkormats and SRT 101s and Spotmatics, and even the Petris, that went to Goodwill or into the landfill.
     
  20. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I feel a similar sadness (though signficantly less) when people are rushing to get rid of their VCR's and all their VHS tapes, like my parents. I mean, transferring family memories to DVD and who knows how many actually keep the original tapes (I've convinced my parents to).

    How many VHS tapes do you know that skip, stall, and generally stop working? Besides getting eaten (which is usually to blame on the machine), they're a far more robust media than DVD and yet no one seems to recall this or care. Record a show on SP quality and you won't believe it's VHS.

    The problem is, this kind of talk out of my mouth immediately gets stamped LUDDITE, NOSTALGIA FREAK, etc. I feel like I'm just being practical...
     
  21. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    DVD is more robust than VHS, and the standard is capable much higher quality. Many DVDs are poorly encoded though. You need to invest in quality discs like Taiyo Yuden or Mitsubishi, not the cheap stuff like Sony, Ricoh, Fuji etc, they are all low quality discs. Given how you can copy a DVD without generation loss quickly, and have a backup of it on a hard disk ready to burn it's going to last better than a VHS tape.

    Also having just any old burner on top of letting it rip at max speed lowers burn quality, you also will want a quality burner (not any more expensive than normal brand burners, just know which one to pick, such as the Pioneers (dont get Pioneer discs) like the BD-206/207 (BluRay/DVD combo), Optiarc (DVD) I wouldn't go for any other drive they cant compete in burn quality).

    Then there is BluRay to up the ante in quality again, burners are not expensive now.


    Kodak has also been recently releasing new colour neg film stocks into Super8 as well, not just the Portra and Ektar stuff over the recent past in still formats. So I would say there is demand there even in Super8 oddly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2011
  22. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    As a person who still uses minidiscs for a large part of my classical music collection, I sometimes get a similar kind of comment! When you think about it, these people are actually been damned rude! How would they feel if their choice of car, clothes or latest-trendy-gadgets was criticised?

    My step-daughter recently bought a BMW and someone said to her "Oh, you've joined the *****ers who drive BMW's". Quick as a flash, she replied "Well, you don't have to drive a BMW to be a *****er!". Smart girl. :laugh:

    (Sorry, getting OT)
     
  23. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Well perhaps you're right about VHS vs. DVD, but I will say that there is a lot of stuff hidden away on VHS that may never be released on DVD. That alone could justfiy keeping a VCR around.

    haha... love the BMW quip
     
  24. Monito

    Monito Member

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    I've had much better luck with disks than tape. Tape is very flimsy and fragile. It stretches, wears out, accumulates magnetic defects, can be erased by kids magnets, crinkles, gets jammed up by dirty capstan rollers. Good riddance to cassette tapes and VHS.

    Once you get video images converted to digital, then they can be copied and backed up as many times as you want, inexpensively. Terabyte external disk drives are inexpensive and very cost effective. You can store an average family's collection of homemade video on one with very little trouble. Then make two extra copies, and keep one offsite in case of fire, flood, or burglary.
     
  25. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Ok, forget what I said about VHS. However, you should never throw away originals on VHS.

    Perhaps I had a crappy DVD player, but I couldn't watch a movie without it skipping, stopping and generally ruining my movie experience.

    Didn't mean to pull the thread off topic...
     
  26. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I don't think patents is a new line of business. They've long been licensing them, but they've probably got plenty to sell too that they won't get around to implement.

    These patents have a shelf life too. The sooner they sell them, the longer they will protect to the new buyer's purchased ideas. That's gotta be worth money to someone who will actually use them for innovative products rather than simply to own them to sue people with.