Kodak's Legacy? Arms Dealer For The Patent Wars?
from the selling-off-the-pieces dept
As many people expected, Kodak has officially moved to sell off its patents to whoever can abuse them the most. Since the company is in bankruptcy, it needs permission to do this, but that's the easy part. These days, thanks to a totally broken patent and legal system, the patents are incredibly "valuable." Not because they represent any kind of actual innovation, but because they represent a magic tollbooth that lets the holder force other companies to pay. Of course, some of that magic wore off last month when the ITC noticed that one of Kodak's key patents -- one that it had used to score nearly a billion dollars in licensing revenue, was blatantly obvious and never should have been granted in the first place. Kodak claims it's going to appeal, but the patent sale will likely happen prior to any appeal going through. Either way, like other companies who failed to keep up with a changing market (hello, Nortel!), Kodak's final legacy may be supplying weapons to yet another battle in the era of technology patent nuclear war. It's not something to be proud of.