Kodak Gives Apple and Google ANOTHER Chance

Eastman Kodak extended its patent auction on Monday to continue discussions with bidders. Kodak began an auction of 1,100 digital patents last Wednesday, and had been scheduled to designate a winner on Monday ahead of a Manhattan Federal Bankruptcy court hearing on August 20.

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Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy in January, said in a statement that the auction was ongoing, but offered no further details. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the length of the extension.

The money from the auction would be used to pay back investors, though it is still unclear how much the sale will raise. The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) made bids, but that they were significantly below Kodak’s estimates for the patents’ value. Kodak said earlier in the year that an outside firm had estimated the value of the portfolio at $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion.

Kodak’s digital patents are grouped into two lots — one of 700 patents and another of 400. While they have been for sale for more than a year, the sale was complicated by the bankruptcy and lawsuits over the ownership and authenticity of the patents. Kodak is still in the midst of litigation with several companies, including Apple, Samsung, and Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).

Kodak has said it wants to be out of bankruptcy by early 2013.

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