A New Focus For Kodak

July 23, 2012

Synonymous with photography for more than a century, The Eastman Kodak Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after years of losses (Docket, Bankruptcy SDNY, 1:12-BK-10202).  The company will no longer make digital cameras, and recently shut down its Kodak Gallery photo-sharing site. 2012 WLNR 14097875. It has also begun to sell a large number of its digital imaging patents, as it will apparently refocus its business on inkjet printers, commercial printing and workflow software, while continuing to sell film as long as it remains profitable. 2012 WLNR 1405329.

Likely to emerge from bankruptcy a much smaller company, it will be interesting to chart Kodak’s future influence on the photography and printing industries. Despite its recent large-scale patent sales, Kodak has acquired a number of new patents that appear to be consistent with its reported new focus.  I ran the following search in U.S. Patents- Full Text (accessible from the “Patents” link from the WestlawNext “All Content” tab, or Westlaw Classic database US-PAT):

PAS(“EASTMAN KODAK”) & da(2012)

It produces 231 patents issued so far this year.  If I do a “Locate in Result” search for spec(ink-jet print!), I produce a list of 188 of the 231 patents that reference these printing-related terms in the patent specifications field.  When viewing one of the results, select the “Links For” tab on the left side for Patent File History, Prior Art and Litigation History.  A scanned copy of the patent is available by selecting Full Original Patent.

Business Citator Reports offers a great comprehensive resource for viewing a company’s status and outlook by aggregating SEC filings, litigation history, intellectual property, stock prices, adverse filings and more, all in one customizable report.

On WestlawNext,  select “Business Information” from the “All Content” tab, then “Business Citator Reports-Company Search” (“Company Information” tab on Westlaw Classic, database BC-COMPANYSRBD).  To produce a report for Kodak, enter  “EKDKQ” in the “Ticker Symbol” search box of  the template.  Click the result, then choose “Business Citator Report with Intellectual Property Records” for the most comprehensive report.

To follow Kodak’s bankruptcy proceedings on WestlawNext, access the “New York Bankruptcy Court Dockets-Southern District” content page (Westlaw Classic database DOCK-NY-SBKR), then enter “1:12-BK-10202” in the “Docket Number” box.  Select “Track” (“Track this Docket” on Westlaw Classic) to receive updates.