Goodbye Film, Says Kodak
Eastman Kodak is saying bye bye to its historical film processing division as its patents go up for auction.
The company which was known for developing photos from film, is selling its print film business to raise funds in attempt reorganize. Kodak which is presently under bankruptcy protection since January 19, 2012 also plans on selling its digital kiosk business as well.
The irony of it all, is that it was Eastman Kodak that invented the digital camera. It was Steve Sasson who in 1975 built the first charged coupling device (CCD) and was award patent 4,131,919
So What Is Kodak, Really?
Kodak is really a company with a lot of imaging patents with vultures circling over its pecked at skeleton. I look at it as auctioning up 100 years of baseball cards and people buying the cards at bulk. Then, opening up the packs to see if they got a Ty Cobb or Honus Wagner. The reality is, the cards are stained, worn and torn. More so, when the patents expire into the public domain after 20 years. Its a sad state of affairs that makes intellectual property lawyers rich.
To give you an idea of how much influence Kodak has had in the world of inventions, here's some additional patent searches I performed tonight:
Note: References doesn't necessarily mean that there are that many patents from the company, but citations into the the patent application.
The Eastman Kodak Aftermath
So just where does that leave Eastman Kodak, if it emerges out of bankruptcy protection?
A carcass with intellectual property lawyers seeking judgement on anyone who infringes upon its own intellectual property rights. A company that is reorganizing itself into three main business segments (according to its recent 10Q filing):
- Consumer Business Segment: Consists of intellectual property, inkjet and personalized imaging
- Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Film Segment: Entertainment Imaging and Commercial Films and Graphics
- Digital Printing and Enterprise Segment: Enterprise Services/Solutions and Digital and Functional Printing
Presently, the stock which was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) now trades on the Over TheCounter (OTC) exchange. At $0.25/share you can go roll the dice and play craps. But, don't forget Polaroid went bankrupt and were acquired by private companies to never come back to trade on any stock exchanges.
About Kerry Kobashi
Kerry is the founder of KerryOnWorld. He lives in Silicon Valley.