Kodak postpone patent auction

Eastman Kodak is postponing indefinitely an auction of its imaging patent portfolios.

An auction hearing had been scheduled in August for Eastman Kodak Co. to sell more than 1,000 patents as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection. The auction kept getting postponed as talks with potential buyers continued.

In a court filing Friday, Kodak said it won’t keep rescheduling, even as negotiations continue. It also said it is “continuing to explore other alternatives,” which include keeping the patents.

The sale of roughly 1,100 patents worth an estimated $2 billion or more had been a key portion of Kodak’s plan to repay creditors and emerge from bankruptcy.

Kodak previously disclosed the option of keeping its patents, but Friday’s filing added the possibility of creating a company to make money by licensing the technology.

Earlier this week, Kodak announced it will layoff an additional 1,000 employees by the end of the year, leaving the iconic film and photography company with roughtly 13,400 employees.

Kodak, founded in 1880, was hurt first by Japanese competition and later by its inability to keep pace with the shift from film to digital photography. The company employs about 500 at its commercial printing operation in the Miami Valley Research Park in Kettering.

Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.

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