ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Eastman Kodak is selling its digital imaging patents for about $525 million, money the struggling photo pioneer says will help it emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year.
Apple, Google, Samsung, Research In Motion, Microsoft, China's Huawei Technologies, Facebook and Amazon.com are among the 12 companies paying to license the 1,100 patents, according to court filings.
Patents have become very valuable to digital device makers, who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits. But Kodak, which has been trying to make the sale happen for more than a year, wound up receiving substantially less money than had been expected.
Eastman Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., said Wednesday that the patent sale will help it repay a substantial amount of a loan it received under the bankruptcy process. It also satisfies a key condition of a new, cheaper $830 million loan package, which required that the patents be sold for at least $500 million.
Founded in 1880, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.