Kodak requests third Chapter 11 plan extension, concludes patent sale
David Ward, San Diego
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Eastman Kodak completed the sale and licensing of its digital imaging patents for $527m this week as it asked for yet another extension to the deadline for filing its Chapter 11 plan.
The patent sale - to a consortium including Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft, HTC, Shutterfly, Adobe Systems, FujiFilm Holdings and Huawei Technologies - was confirmed late last year.
Kodak announced the completion of the sale process on Monday, only days after it asked a US Bankruptcy Court for yet another extension of the exclusive control it has over its own bankruptcy process.
The extension, the company’s third in a little more than a year, would give Kodak until 31 May 2013 to file a Chapter 11 plan and extend until 31 July 2013 the exclusive period to solicit acceptances of a Chapter 11 plan.
In the court filing, Kodak listed a host of recent company milestones that it argued justified an extension, including the patent sale. "Indeed, the transaction is already regarded in the non-bankruptcy intellectual property community as one of the most complicated transactions ever completed," the filing noted.
"The transaction required 13 different companies - many of whom continue to have litigious relationships with the debtors and each other - to agree simultaneously on purchase terms and/or long-term licensing arrangements, with each company’s agreement cross-conditioned."
In the first months after it filed for bankruptcy protection early in 2012, Kodak had suggested the patent portfolio could be worth as much as $2.5bn, but by last summer negotiations had apparently settled into the $500m plus range.
Kodak's vice president of marketing Chris Payne told PrintWeek: "We continue to make significant progress in our restructuring and we are moving forward as a company focused on our Commercial Imaging business, where we have differentiated technology and strong growth prospects. We are poised to serve customers and to continue offering solutions that will help make them successful."
The completion of the sale enables Kodak to repay a substantial amount of its initial debtor in possession (dip) loan, satisfy a key condition for its newly approved financing facility, and position its core Commercial Imaging business for future growth.
In addition to retaining rights to use the 1,100 digital imaging patents sold in the transaction, Kodak said it maintains ownership of an additional 9,600 patents, including many focused on its core commercial printing business.
The sale also includes an agreement to settle current patent-related litigation between any of the participants and Kodak.Tweet