Kodak cameras with decorative cases

Eastman Kodak patent auction begins on Wednesday

Eastman Kodak’s auction of digital patents is expected to begin on Wednesday.

Kodak is selling 1,100 patents under the US Bankruptcy Code in order to pay back creditors. Reports have said the patents could be worth around $2.6bn.

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 protection in January.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Kodak had received two bids from investor groups for the patents, including Apple and Google, of between $150m and $250m. However, a spokesperson for Kodak declined to go into detail about the report, saying the company believed that speculation about the details and potential outcome of the auction was inappropriate.

Intellectual-property firm Withers & Rogers said the auction was expected to start on Wednesday, with the winning bid announced five days later.

Nick Wallin, partner and patent attorney at Withers & Rogers, said: “If last year’s Nortel patent auction is anything to go by, Kodak could expect to secure a large sum, enough to ensure the business lives to see another day despite its financial losses. Ultimately, it may even have a chance to rebuild itself.

“The fact that a patent portfolio can come to the rescue in this way is highly significant. In the past, technology companies have been valued first and foremost based on capital considerations and other physical assets. More recently, brand and goodwill have been regarded as valuable and now patent portfolios are emerging as the single most valuable asset a technology company can own.”

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