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Firm could sell patents under Chapter 11

Kodak has been on a downward spiral with profits falling greatly in the face of the digital photo revolution that has all but killed the film camera. Kodak is in such a bad place that it had three members of its board of directors jump ship in one week. Reuters is reporting that Kodak is now rumored to be preparing to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a bid to save the company.
 
The photography firm is said to be in talks with lenders to bring in debtor-in possession financing to the tune of $1 billion. The Chapter 11 filing could come as quickly as February. Kodak had previously said that it could raise a lot of cash by selling off some of its patent trove.
 
The patents Kodak holds have been estimated to be worth as much as five times the market cap of the company. That gives the company the option of selling some patents to stay afloat if the financing it is seeking doesn't come through. Kodak has warned previously that it will need to raise at least $500 million in funding to stay afloat in 2012.
 
If the report is accurate and Kodak files Chapter 11, it could then sell off the patents it holds as part of the court supervised auction. Kodak also warned this week that its stock might be removed from the New York Stock Exchange if the share price doesn't grow in the next six months.
 
The full financial details for Kodak's fiscal Q4 will be reported on January 26. An official announcement that it will file Chapter 11 could come during the financial disclosure. 

Source: Reuters



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By JasonMick (blog) on 1/5/2012 1:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Kodak Easyshare? Easy?

I have had so many friends and relatives complain about digital cameras, only to find out it was an EasyShare. They break easily, they start draining batteries rapidly as they age, they take forever to turn on, etc.

I sort of see your point, but I think what you're speaking to is more like production quality and product polish.

Kodak was a HUGE innovator. In fact, in addition to its numerous film photography firsts, it was the first to make and market a digital camera. If Kodak hadn't done it, someone else would have. But because of Kodak's innovative spirit, digital cameras started to invade the market far sooner than they would have otherwise.

That's the deliciously ironic/unfortunate part in that ultimately Kodak's innovation sealed its own demise.

Kodak was always a great innovator. It just wasn't as good at mass producing cheap low-cost electronics a la Taiwan/China or polishing its camera line like Sony, Canon, Nikkon, etc., hence the reason for its slow death...

It was kind of like that brilliant guy who never makes that much money because he lacks the "street smarts" business skills of his peers. He eventually gets laid off, while his former colleague who was a fraction of his intellect gets a fat raise/promotion due to his ability to pitch his ideas better and smooze.

That's life for ya, though. Survive or perish... it's a jungle out there.

RIP Kodak...


RE: That's what happens when you don't innovate.
By torpor on 1/5/2012 1:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
Kodak doesn't innovate?

Um, check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak#Timeline

They're still improving the capabilities of the digital camera (which they invented).

Would you like to go on to tell us how Xerox doesn't innovate?

Yes, their cheap consumer stuff is cheap. Look just a little deeper.


By ClownPuncher on 1/5/2012 3:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
Most people don't know much about Kodak, or even Xerox, past entry level consumer grade products. Though, Kodak sure could have used a good marketing campaign for their more technical oriented products.


By JasonMick (blog) on 1/5/2012 5:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Kodak doesn't innovate?

Did you mean to direct this @ the op?

Because my whole comment was a rebuke to him along the same lines as yours.

I break down their history of innovation and sad decline here...
http://www.dailytech.com/Kodak+Ekes+Victory+in+2B+...

It's sad to see Kodak go, but better to bow out gracefully than become a patent troll, not producing anything and just suing everyone (though the IP might still be SOLD to a troll... beware).

As for the cameras, I think the op was right in a way. Software was never the company's strength. It was a big innovator in hardware, but struggled in software, budget end mass-production, and packaging in the modern era.

Once digital cameras (Note: arguably INVENTED by Kodak) got far enough to where the software was becoming advanced and highly purpose driven, Kodak quickly fell behind. Its on-camera GUI displays and image offloading tools were pretty poor and it was only so-so in terms of the image processing/automatic hardware tweaking algorithms (focus, etc.) department...

Its Asian were far less innovative hardware-wise, but knew how to cheaply mass produce slick packaged cameras with slick UIs and good SW/HW correction algorithms...

THAT is why Kodak more or less lost the horse race...


By torpor on 1/5/2012 10:42:30 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Did you mean to direct this @ the op?

Yup.

Kodak wasn't always off the pack - the easyshare bit built cost into the product that came out of the camera; they were trying to fix a problem (getting pictures out of the camera) that people would complain about but not really feel.

The DC4800 was a solid camera, for example...just before the easyshare fiasco began. They should have stayed on that path.

But Kodak seems to be much better with the underlying technology, from roll film to 8mm to digital image capture to OLED. God knows if Kodak was run by oil executives we'd all still be shooting Kodachrome. (which was a great film btw)

The only interesting question left is who is going to end up with all the patents.


RE: That's what happens when you don't innovate.
By priusone on 1/6/2012 12:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
"The patents Kodak holds have been estimated to be worth as much as five times the market cap of the company"

Sure, some companies might patent basic finger gestures, but Kodak, long with Xerox and many others, helped create the technology that we take for granted today. I'm guessing that you also checked that 'timeline' link. Notice the sheer lack of 'innovation' in the past decade? Sure, they may have introduced a few concepts, but nothing that really grabbed my attention, or the attention of anyone that I know.


RE: That's what happens when you don't innovate.
By torpor on 1/6/2012 1:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
We all get it. You bought something from them you don't like, so Kodak must be full of nothing but idiots. Just like any freshman CS student can write a better OS than the garbage Microsoft turns out.
Whatever.

Try reading this. Note all the stuff between 2001 and today. (you know, the last decade) Then I'm done fighting willful ignorance on this one.

http://www.ipexl.com/directory/index.php?title=Eas...


By priusone on 1/6/2012 8:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you couldn't be bothered to read my first posting. "I have had so many friends and relatives complain about digital cameras, only to find out it was an EasyShare. They break easily, they start draining batteries rapidly as they age, they take forever to turn on, etc." Yep, I never owned one of their digital cameras, but I have had the misfortune of dealing with them.

Obviously Kodak didn't completely stopped innovating. But I do understand how their decisions have led them to where they are today.

"Kodak was a HUGE innovator." Thank you validating my point, Jason. They 'were' innovators, who sadly are going the way of Polaroid.

Thank you for the link, Torpor.


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