Kodak brace for bankruptcy as patent sale begins

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Thumbnail image for kodak-easyshare-z5010.jpgThe end of an era may be coming for once-mighty photography giants Kodak. After years of declining financial performance, the company are said to be bracing for bankruptcy as they prepare to sell off a large number of their digital patents.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kodak have filed for Chapter 11 protection, but are looking to fend off the bailiffs a little longer by opening an auction on their sought after digital photography patents. Despite the company’s focus on film shooting, it’s worth remembering that Kodak invented the first digital camera way back in 1975, through the work of engineers Steven J. Sasson and Gareth A. Lloyd.

A similar auction system greatly helped the fortunes of Nortel last year. Similarly floundering, their open bid patent auction managed to raise of $4.5 billion, way over the estimates as the likes of Google became caught in a bidding war.

However, with over 19,000 employees and shares dropping since 1997 to a record low of 47 cents on Wednesday, the $1bn that Kodak are estimated to gain from any such sale may still not be enough to prevent more woes latter down the line.

Gerald Lynch