The story of the rise and fall of Kodak, when it is finally written, will be one of the great sagas in the history of American business. Here's an article that asks an important question about a very recent chapter: How exactly did Kodak's huge portfolio of intellectual property—earned the hard way, through decades of R&D and original science and research—end up in the hands of outsiders for only pennies on the dollar?
Mark Harris, a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, tells the tale in an article posted on IEEE Spectrum, the website of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The article is titled "The Lowballing of Kodak's Patent Portfolio."
A fascinating story, accessible for lay readers. A good read for anyone interested in the international digital imaging industry.
(Thanks to Edward Casati)
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Featured Comments from:
sneye: "I know, this is how free market economics work these days. But the cynicism...the contempt...the replacement of genuine scientific achievement with white collar robbery.... It's obscene, and quite painful to be honest. This is not the world I would like my children to live in."
Geoff Wittig: "That's a fascinating article. At the time I had a queasy sense that Kodak's widely trumpeted expectation of a huge windfall from their patent sale might be misplaced. And I can't imagine how the company could have regained their footing as they tumbled down the bankruptcy cliff even with such a wad of cash. But it's most discouraging to learn that Kodak's last shot at survival was sabotaged by a monopsony—a conspiratorial consortium of all significant buyers well aware of the company's financial desperation. Kinda like dangling the antidote in front of a desperate poisoning victim, if only they'll hand over everything in their bank account...."