Eastman Kodak Company has obtained approval from the Bankruptcy Court to auction its Digital Capture and Kodak Imaging Systems and Services (KISS) patent portfolios. Apple Inc., as well as FlashPoint Technologies Inc., had contested the motion in question.
Apple had asserted “ownership” interests in a small number of the 1,100 patents in the portfolios, yet the Bankruptcy Court found that all of the patents in the Digital Capture and KISS patent portfolios are the property of Kodak.
The court thus granted the imaging firm the right to sell these patents, subject to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, free and clear of Apple and FlashPoint’s claims at the auction. Kodak
is glad to be racking up some cash to keep fighting off Apple, with Timothy Lynch, Kodak’s vice president and chief intellectual property officer, stating, “We are gratified that the Court has enabled us to move ahead with our patent auction in a timely manner and with clarity on ownership for the winning buyer.”
Those who are interested in buying will be able to submit bids on a confidential basis around early August.
Lynch added, “The Apple and FlashPoint claims are baseless and Kodak will still seek dismissal on summary judgment in July.”
“However, today’s ruling provides a Court-approved process allowing buyers to acquire the patents free and clear of all ownership allegations, regardless of the status of the dispute with Apple and Flashpoint at the time of closing,” he said.
The Bankruptcy Court’s ruling will act as a path to separate the auction process from the ongoing litigation between Apple and Kodak.
The imaging company strongly upholds that Apple’s claims are without merit. Kodak is also seeking a determination on summary judgment that the claims are time-barred (later this month).