Tue, Oct 18, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Kodak strikes a patent licensing deal with IMAX

AFP, NEW YORK

Struggling US photo giant Eastman Kodak Co has announced it has reached a deal to license some of its patents related to its laser projection technology to Canada’s big-screen specialist IMAX Corp.

Kodak did not reveal the financial details of the deal that it announced on Sunday. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that IMAX would pay “tens of millions of [US] dollars” upfront — but less than US$50 million.

The Canadian company would then have to make regular royalty and other payments for use of the Kodak patents, the newspaper said, citing a person who was familiar with the matter.

Kodak spokesperson Gerard Meuchner said that the deal would “enable IMAX, for the first time ever, to deliver the -highest--quality digital content available to IMAX film-based screens larger than 80 feet [24m] and to dome theaters.”

The deal should also allow the Rochester, New York-based company to quickly replenish its available funds, as it awaits a larger sale of its patent portfolio.

Kodak, which was founded in 1888, has been in difficulty since the dawn of the digital camera age.

In recent years, it has used the licensing of patents as a much-needed source of revenue, but the deals had “dried up this year,” according to the Journal.

In July, the company said it was “exploring strategic alternatives” related to its digital imaging patents.

Kodak then hired a law firm to advise it on a possible restructuring. However, it said that it did not intend to file for bankruptcy.

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