EK's patents are basically worthless without the cash on hand to defend them. They will try and sell them, and that may help raise some funds, but what they really need to do is fragment and save what can be saved. But I can tell you that selling patents is hard work, the buyer has to think they're getting something defendable and they must also have the funds to defend them. A better approach may be to carve out mini-EKs base don well established IP.
We can all offer theories why EK got into this situation; obviously, obsoleting one's own product is what comes to mind. But then if you look at IBM, Microsoft, Apple etc. they all have a long and proud tradition of obsoleting their own inventions... if done properly, it works very well. There is more to it than that.
The mismanagement of the brainpower at EK is a tragedy of modern American business. I feel bad for the current employees and all the many decades of brilliant people who contributed so many wonderful ideas and discoveries. Alas, I see a lot of this in Big Science in the US. It's very sad for someone like me who's just old enough to remember America at its peak and who thought I had a place in that.