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Dayton Business Journal...
Kodak lawsuits pile up as bankruptcy looms
by DBJ Staff
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 

Eastman Kodak Co. is getting aggressive at going after rivals it believes have violated its many digital patents, and filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. on Wednesday. 

The lawsuits come as the company is trying to protect its valuable patents that it is reportedly trying to sell as it considers a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

The suit against Samsung claims it violated Kodak’s patents when it developed the Galaxy mobile tablet. 

This latest lawsuit comes after suits filed recently against Apple Inc. and HTC Corp.   

Kodak claims Apple and HTC used its technology covered by four patents that are being used for transmission of images. It accuses HTC of infringing on a fifth patent covering image previews which are also part of a U.S. International Trade Commission case against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Blackberry maker Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:RIMM). 

Kodak could get $1 billion in new revenue as a result of the Apple-RIM trade case, according to executives at the company. It also is trying to sell the company’s 1,100 digital photo patents as it refocuses on digital printers, which is what the local operation supports. Kodak has 570 employees at a facility in Kettering that makes inkjet printers.

A possible bankruptcy filing by the company would lead to internal changes that would be a boost to the Dayton-area operations of the 131-year-old company, according to an analyst. 

The Journal also reported on Wednesday that Kodak is set to name a chief restructuring officer as it prepares for the bankruptcy, and said that Kodak is talking to possible lenders, including Citigroup Inc.    , for lining up about $1 billion in debtor-in-possession financing. 

If the reports of how Kodak would look after emerging from bankruptcy are correct, the company may very well boost its operations in Dayton. In fact, the company already has expressed interest in growing locally. 

In late September, the state of Ohio approved a tax credit package worth $2.9 million over 10 years to entice Kodak to expand in the Dayton region. In addition, the city of Kettering recently committed a $435,000 grant to the company. 

State officials said if the company decides to expand in Kettering, it would invest at least $7.5 million in new manufacturing machinery as well as research and development equipment to help position the Kettering facility for future growth. 

Read this and other articles at the Dayton Business Journal




 
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