Unsold Patents Hint at a Kodak Comeback Strategy

August 25, 2012
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The company is currently auctioning off one,100 patents, primarily associated with digital image capture, manipulation, and sharing, or concerning 100 percent of its total portfolio, because it struggles to emerge from bankruptcy.High school Rochester, a neighborhood economic development organization, has known twelve families of technologies, mostly in materials and optics, that Kodak ne’er developed which might prove valuable. These technologies represent market opportunities which will are too little or tangential for Kodak, however might prove sizeable for a startup. the corporate hopes to figure with Kodak to license patents to form new firms during a region that has suffered the foremost as Kodak’s force contracted from sixty four,000 to 17,000 within the last decade.
But individuals aware of Kodak’s technology portfolio say it’d be a blunder to discount the 132-year-old business utterly. Long associate R&D powerhouse, Kodak holds a treasure of holding from that associate innovative business might still emerge. “They’ve designed a really strong, valuable patent portfolio, however they’re keeping the simplest patents for themselves,” says Alexander Poltorak, chief operating officer of the holding firm General Patent firm.The patents that Kodak is auctioning off to pay its creditors — and people it’s holding onto — offer some clue on what reasonably company may emerge from bankruptcy.

Kodak may be a shell of the commercial icon that spent decades leading the analog film and camera business. Despite inventing the primary photographic camera in 1975, Kodak was late to enter that market and, even then, it didn’t think about it an important business till the mid-2000s.

This week, Kodak additionally free a business arrange that part bets its future on “creating a brand new company” primarily based specifically on materials science, digital imaging, and deposition technologies, furthermore as on “aggressively monetizing” its remaining holding portfolio to herald up to $400 million a year.

Two rising markets that Kodak expects to be an important growth space is written physics and useful printing, or manufacturing materials for industrial applications like packaging and biotech.

David Martin, head of the innovation assets firm M-CAM, says Kodak has robust holding within the space of computer circuit boards, together with strategies of dispersing heat — a property that becomes a lot of vital as physics become smaller. And its chemistry and materials analysis has junction rectifier it to advances in inks that conduct electricity, that promise to be helpful during a style of electronic product and in thin-film coatings and membranes used for star cells and batteries. Kodak additionally has developed color matching technologies that Martin calls “invaluable” as a result of it will exactly match colours displayed on-line to the colours that area unit used on a product.

According to Martin, Kodak has not totally controlled the worth of the many of those technologies however, instead sporting its future on chasing a business that it absolutely was continually method behind in — digital imaging.

Entrepreneurs in Kodak’s town of Rochester, New York, also are exploring the company’s cobwebbed basements in hopes of beginning new firms supported its innovations.

The cluster has already used this strategy to assist launch one startup, an organization referred to as Lumetrics, that authorised Kodak technology to develop a lot of precise ways that to live the thickness of ultra-thin materials. “In several cases, there area unit prototypes already designed, and that we recognize the technology is sound,” says High school Rochester president James Sennall. However, his talks with Kodak executives have slowed since the corporate entered bankruptcy proceedings.

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