Kodak’s patent auction promised to be one of the most exciting turning points in the ongoing patent wars, with its digital imaging patents touted to be worth billions of dollars. Kodak had put up more than 1,100 patents up for sale, with most of them related to digital imaging and image capture, processing and transmission technologies for digital cameras and smartphones.
We also saw prominent tech giants teaming up with each other to buy the patents, with the likes of Google, Samsung and RPX in one camp, and Apple, Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures in the other.
However, as the bidding progresses, it seems that Kodak may not be able to fetch what it expected to in the auction. Kodak had previously stated that the patents might be worth around $2.2 to $2.6 billion, but the current bidding rate is around $500 million.
Kodak has announced that it might decline to sell some or all of its patents if the bidding fails to push the prices up. It has already pushed the patent auction deadline twice, and may do it again to drum up interest in the auction and fetch a higher price.
Even if the auction does go through, there is no guarantee that it will be cleared by regulatory authorities due to possible antitrust issues.
Kodak filed for bankruptcy months ago, and owes nearly $1.4 billion to Citigroup and other bondholders.