NEW YORK — Beleaguered photography pioneer Kodak said a US bankruptcy court has approved its bid to auction off more than 1,100 patents despite objections by Apple and FlashPoint over a small number of them.
Buyers will submit bids on a confidential basis for the auction, which is expected to be held early next month, Kodak said in a statement Monday.
"The Apple and FlashPoint claims are baseless and Kodak will still seek dismissal on summary judgment in July," Timothy Lynch, Kodak Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer, said.
"Today's ruling provides a court-approved process allowing buyers to acquire the patents free and clear of all ownership allegations, regardless of the status of the dispute with Apple and FlashPoint at the time of closing."
Neither Apple nor FlashPoint could immediately be reached for comment.
Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January, succumbing to a 15-year digital assault by younger rivals.
The company hopes that Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will give it time to reorganize its businesses to avoid being shut down entirely.
The auction will include a bundle of some 700 patents covering image capture, processing and transmission technologies for digital cameras and other devices, including smartphones and tablets equipped with cameras.
The other portfolio, including some 400 patents, covers tools for image analysis, manipulation, tagging, and network-based services.
The Rochester, New York-based company, started in 1892, led the way in popularizing the cameras, film, slide projectors and home videos that allowed generations of users to preserve family photos and other memories.
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