Kodak Closes $848 Million Financing Deal

Gene QuinnSeveral weeks ago, Kodak announced that it closed its previously announced $848 million financing with members of the Steering Committee of the Second Lien Noteholders and other holders of Kodak’s Senior Secured Notes.

Under this new financing agreement, Kodak borrowed a total principal amount of approximately $473 million and converted $375 million in Senior Secured Notes into loans. The proceeds from this financing, together with proceeds from the much discussed sale of the Kodak imaging patent portfolio, will be used to repay the term loans outstanding under Kodak’s existing debtor-in-possession credit agreement, make an adequate protection payment to holders of the Senior Secured Notes, and support ongoing business activities.


Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. If there are any patent blogs you think should be highlighted by our Top 5, please comment on this post and we’ll check them out.

1) Director’s Forum: Top Reasons Why USPTO Is Moving to CPC – This post from the USPTO’s Director, David Kappos, discusses the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) project, how it is important, and highlights why they are cooperatively pursuing this initiative with the European Patent Office (EPO).

2) Spicy IP: New Patent Prevents Textbook Sharing (in US) – This post discusses a U.S. patent granted to economist Joseph Vogel, professor at University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The patent restricts textbook sharing amongst students as a means of attempting to cut down on piracy. “The patent is designed to prevent “unauthorized access to copyrighted academic texts is provided in which trademark licenses, discussion boards, and grade content are integrated into a Web-based system.”” (more…)

ITC Finds Kodak’s Digital Capture Patent Invalid

On May 21, 2012, the U.S. International Trade Commission’s Judge Thomas Pender issued a notice in the patent infringement battle brought by Eastman Kodak against Apple, Inc. and Research In Motion, Ltd. The decision noted that Apple and RIM infringed upon one of the claims in Kodak’s digital capture patent, but that Kodak’s patent was invalid because of the “obviousness” of claim 15 of the patent. As such, Apple and RIM did not violate 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(1) with respect to Kodak’s patent.


Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer: The Role of Kodak’s Patent Portfolio in its Bankruptcy

As the progression of technology has proven before, film has gone the way of the VHS, tape cassette, and arguably the paper back novel. On January 19, 2012, Eastman Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York. Kodak made the transition from basing its company on film to digital, but it wasn’t enough. Citigroup will be lending the company $950 million in financing to maintain daily operations. After reviewing Kodak’s bankruptcy court documents, it has become clear that it is Kodak’s juicy patent portfolio that has not only burdened the company but will also hopefully sustain the company as it goes through bankruptcy.

What is interesting about Kodak’s patent portfolio is that one would assume having an estimated $3 billion dollars worth of intellectual property, including digital image capturing patents, would have saved the company from ever having to declare bankruptcy in the first place, especially considering Kodak was the first to invent the digital camera in 1975. As it turns out, the inability to enforce patent licensing rights and infringement damages cost the company more than their impressive patent portfolio could salvage. (more…)

Hewlett-Packard Reexamination Request Of Princeton Digital Patent Among Requests Filed Week of 8/8/11

Here is the latest installment of Reexamination Requests from Scott Daniels, of Reexamination Alert and Practice Center Contributor…

Hewlett-Packard has sought reexamination of Princeton Digital’s U.S. Patent No. 4,813,056 for digital signals used in cameras, camcorders, copiers, scanners and various multifunction devices (see ex parte Request No. (7)).  The ‘056 patent, originally owned by General Electric, is the subject of two infringement actions by Princeton in the Eastern District of Texas, against a slew of consumer electronics companies including HPRicohKodak, andFujifilm.  Canon is reported this morning to have settled its case.

Garmin has requested reexamination of its own patent for a sports computer with GPS (see ex parte Request No. 6).  Presumably,Garmin is attempting to beat Bryton, whom Garmin has sued for infringement of that patent, to the punch.

Finally, there were reports over the weekend that Google had requested reexamination against two Lodsys patents – U.S. Patent Nos. 7,222,078 & 7,620,565 – that Lodsys has asserted against a large group of small makers of applications for Android®.  Google’s Requests, however, are not yet available. (more…)