Kodak will receive far less than the estimated $2.6 billion for a portfolio of 1,100 patents.
A court approved the purchase to a consortium that includes industry heavy weights such as Apple, Google, Samsung, RIM, Amazon, Fujifilm, Adobe, HTC, Huawei, Shutterfly, Facebook and Microsoft for a total of $527 million. The majority of the patents - a chunk of 700 documents - refer to related to digital camera LCD viewfinders, and 400 patents are related to image capture and manipulation and network-based services.
The purchase price was described as "disappointing" by judge Allan Gropper, who green-lighted the sale to allow Kodak to conclude its bankruptcy proceedings. For the consortium, the patent acquisition could be considered a bargain, given the potential damage that could have been caused, if the patents had fallen into the hands of a patent troll, which are growing stronger through their license deals.
From the buyer's perspective, however, the Kodak patents were rather expensive. At about $477,000 per patent, Google paid twice as much per patent that the amount it paid for the average Motorola patent.
"With the Court's approval of the sale of our digital imaging patent portfolio, we have achieved one of Kodak's key restructuring objectives, while positioning our Commercial Imaging business for further growth and success, and enabling Kodak to repay a substantial amount of its initial lending," Kodak said in a statement. The company aims to use the funds to provide its business with a fresh start.