Kodak and Samsung Wrapped Up in Patent Hearings

Tuesday both above mentioned companies, Kodak (NYSE:EK), and Samsung are major players in ongoing patent drama. Patent lawsuits have become the battleground for technology companies this year as they try to secure valuable exclusive rights to use and produce certain technologies in mobile phone products, tablets, and other devices. Companies strapped for cash have also looked to sell patents as a means of financing. Recently, bankrupt former telecommunications giant Nortel held a patent auction that raised $4.5 billion in cash thanks to bids from Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and a number of other companies.

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This morning Kodak is looking to build on plans to sell a total 1,100 patents to raise $250-350 million, including one highly coveted image previewing patent. The problem is that the image preview patent is currently being challenged in court by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Research in Motion, two companies who will likely make bids on Kodak’s patent portfolio as well. The current sale represents 10% of the company’s patent holdings.

In another intellectual property related development, Samsung has agreed not to sell the current version of its best-selling Galaxy tablet in Australia due to an infringement lawsuit filed by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) several weeks ago. “No injunction was issued by the court and the parties in the case reached a mutual agreement which stipulates that the variant in question will not be sold in Australia,” said a Samsung rep, who also claims that the company had no intention of selling that particular variant of the Galaxy in the region to begin with. “A Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 for the Australian market will be released in the near future. This undertaking does not affect any other Samsung smartphone or tablet available in the Australian market or other countries,” the company added.