Apple, Google, Microsoft to Buy Kodak Patents

Eastman Kodak Co. announced on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to “successfully monetize its digital imaging patents.” Kodak, which is in the throws of Chapter 11 restructuring, will receive approximately $525 million from Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation (NASDAQ:RPXC), patent-holding firms reportedly backed by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Kodak lives to fight another day

Kodak, which once controlled as much as 90 percent of the photographic-film market share in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January of 2012. Since then, the company has committed to focus on its digital photography and printing businesses and to raise restructuring capital through patent litigation, licensing, and sales.

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At the end of November, Kodak accepted an offer for $830 million in exit-financing loans that replaced a $793 million commitment made earlier in the month. The new financing was predicated on Kodak’s ability to sell its digital imaging patent portfolio for “no less than $500 million,” according to the release. Tuesday’s announcement appears to satisfy that obligation, but what’s in it for Apple, Google, and Microsoft?