What’s the one brand that comes to your mind as soon as you hear the words ‘Camera Film’? It’s likely that you immediately recalled Kodak. And why wouldn’t you? It’s been around for as long as you can remember, the first camera you used was likely one of Kodak’s disposable cameras, and you remember seeing their promotional material throughout movies and music videos.
However, if you were asked to think about a brand name which you haven’t heard in around ten years, it’s likely also to be Kodak. Not for lack of quality of the product, but instead the format has all been taken over by better quality digital replacements with cameras and products like those available at the Groupon Coupons page for Canon.
However, if you thought that Kodak sat around and watched idly while the digital photography market boomed, you would be wrong.
Highly active in the development of numerous digital photography and imaging technologies, Kodak amassed quite a patent portfolio.
While the portfolio might not be as expansive as those held by giants like Google and Apple, their value doesn’t come from quantity, but necessity. You see, many, if not most, of the images you see on the web, are taken, compressed, transferred, and displayed using a multitude of technologies. And guess whose name is on the ownership papers…Kodak.
Well, it was.
As active as Kodak was in the early stages of the market, the company itself was unable to release products which would maintain its relevance. A rapid decline in sales and company value would see Kodak enter into voluntary bankruptcy.
In a step to emerge from said bankruptcy, Kodak has sold its portfolio of 1,100 patents for the timely sum of around $525 million. While Kodak once valued its portfolio at over $2 billion, it was, unfortunately, a ‘take what you can get’ affair, with minimal other options available.
Consumers are likely to be unaffected by this sale, as the companies which purchased the patents likely to fold them into existing product portfolios, lowering the license costs needed to pay per product. While this sounds like it could be a price reduction for consumers, the opportunity is not often taken, with companies instead choosing to bolster their profits with such acquirements.