Friday, November 4, 2011

Kodak Licenses Projector Patents to IMAX

IMAXWith this new digital age, many things are transitioning to digital methods. However, Eastman Kodak hasn't quite handled the transition to digital photography as smoothly as some of the competition, though when your company is more than 100 years old, staying on top of things isn't always as easy as it used to be. The good thing for Eastman Kodak is that they have an overabundance of intellectual property which just might help Kodak stay in a rapidly changing market.

One way Kodak is trying to stay afloat is by aligning with other companies. Kodak has just announced a deal with IMAX to license the company's laser projection patents to the movie company, which will allow it to more effectively project digital films on IMAX's truly enormous screens.

What this means for Kodak is that the company will receive some much-desired cash, somewhere around $10 million or so. In addition to that, Kodak will also receive undetermined royalty payments for at least ten years. That is one serious piece of capital for Kodak, whose stock has lost three-fourths of its value in the last year alone. When news of this partnership hit, Kodak's shares increased by 5% immediately. The license deal is also a part of a $250-$350 million plan for Kodak to pay off the considerable debt which it has accumulated.

In IMAX's case, the new technology will allow it to replace older digital and analog projectors in more of its theaters. IMAX's equipment is specialized and very, very expensive which means that every time they upgrade equipment, they intend for it to last. Aside from generally high-quality digital projections, IMAX films that use the new patented process will be considerably brighter than their older predecessors. The new projection systems are also much more cost-effective.

This raises a very interesting proposition for Kodak. Now beginning its thirteenth decade as a company, the question is whether or not Kodak will become a firm principally composed of its ideas and techniques. With other digital competitors, like Canon, Nikon and Sony, outpacing Kodak in nearly every single market aside from budget point-to-shoots, it just may be a good way for the company to advance into the future.

Source: Slash Gear - Kodak licenses projector patents to IMAX to stay afloat


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