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-   -   It's official: Kodak in bankruptcy (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114935)

sparrow6224 01-18-2012 23:56

It's official: Kodak in bankruptcy
 
The news just came in from the Financial Times to my rss:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/68054...gNews1/product

David Murphy 01-19-2012 00:20

Glad to see them gone. Any company going around trying to shake down other companies for tribute the way they do needs to go bankrupt. Kodak actually patents such incredible innovations as computers sending other computers data (in 2007 no less). They are pathetic.

mugent 01-19-2012 00:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Murphy (Post 1791291)
Glad to see them gone. Any company going around trying to shake down other companies for tribute the way they do needs to go bankrupt. Kodak actually patents such incredible innovations as computers sending other computers data (in 2007 no less). They are pathetic.

I wouldn't blame Kodak for dodgy patents, blame the crazy system that allows it.

David Murphy 01-19-2012 00:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by mugent (Post 1791303)
I wouldn't blame Kodak for dodgy patents, blame the crazy system that allows it.

Yeah, that's certainly a part of the problem. The whole system patent system is starting to resemble organized crime.

Turtle 01-19-2012 00:42

I just hope the films somehow continue to be made. That seems like vain hope, but we shall see.

semilog 01-19-2012 00:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Murphy (Post 1791291)
Any company going around trying to shake down other companies for tribute the way they do needs to go bankrupt.

That pretty much means you'd want any large company in the world today -- especially any company that actually develops new technology -- to go bankrupt. As others here have said, Kodak didn't make the rules but they do exist within a legal and economic framework.

Anyway, that was an ill-considered and churlish suggestion to make, at this moment.

gavinlg 01-19-2012 00:59

I really hope their films continue on somehow - Kodak is making my favorite film of all types at the moment...

Riverman 01-19-2012 01:11

They've filed for Ch 11, not Ch 7. So they have not gone into liquidation. In effect Ch 11 allows the insolvent firm to discriminate between its finance creditors and its trade creditors. Business will continue as Kodak seek reorganisation/restructuring. It seems as if half of all US airlines are in Ch 11 half the time! It's still a sad day and query whether the film biz will survive. If i could pick one Kodak product to save it would be ektachrome but i'm not holding my breath.

kode 01-19-2012 01:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by semilog (Post 1791311)
That pretty much means you'd want any large company in the world today -- especially any company that actually develops new technology -- to go bankrupt. As others here have said, Kodak didn't make the rules but they do exist within a legal and economic framework.

Anyway, that was an ill-considered and churlish suggestion to make, at this moment.

I am pretty sure there is quite the gradation between having patents and defending them when competitors do not license them, and being a patent troll existing solely to sue every other company making anything resembling anything in your patent portfolio. Proving prior arts to patents a patent troll has filed can in some cases be a pretty costly process, and the practice of patent trolling does in no way encourage the development of new technology. Kodak isn't the worst offender by a long shot, but they do partake in the practice somewhat. The last weeks, Kodak has sued both Samsung and Fujifilm for, e.g., for a patent sounding a lot like what "live view" is, taking still photos while previewing a motion capture.

je2a3 01-19-2012 01:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by gavinlg (Post 1791313)
I really hope their films continue on somehow - Kodak is making my favorite film of all types at the moment...

+ 1, keep Tri-X, reintroduce Plus-X and more...

OddE 01-19-2012 01:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by gavinlg (Post 1791313)
I really hope their films continue on somehow - Kodak is making my favorite film of all types at the moment...

-Yup, I'm just off the phone with my local dealer (In film, that is...) - I was well stocked on Tri-X, but now I am the happy owner of a lot of Portra 160 and 800 as well - in both 135 and 120.

Gut feeling says film production will continue, but just in case...

semilog 01-19-2012 01:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by kode (Post 1791317)
The last weeks, Kodak has sued both Samsung and Fujifilm for, e.g., for a patent sounding a lot like what "live view" is, taking still photos while previewing a motion capture.

And if you don't know what the exact nature of the lawsuit is, and what other related patents and art are out there, complaining about it is meaningless. For example, there are many different technical means to implement what you're generically calling live view. All of that stuff was invented by people, and all of it was done with significant capital investments. By the shareholders of companies like Kodak.

It's not as though this stuff has always existed, or as though it suddenly, spontaneously, popped into existence.

It may interest you to know that Thomas Edison's legendary R&D facility at West Orange was built and operated with money that Edison acquired through his work on defensive patents. Essentially, he developed alternative methods for telegraph multiplexing and sold patents for those methods to telegraph companies. There were already good multiplexing methods. Edison did this work with the specific intent that everything should be patented, and the resulting patents should be used to lock competitors out of the market. In other words Edison -- arguably the most important and prolific inventor in American history -- was by any reasonable definition a patent troll.

The parallels to much of what's happening today are not difficult to see. And those parallels tell us that much of the bellyaching about the current patent system are both historically naive and lacking in nuance.

kode 01-19-2012 01:34

Edison might've had some ideas, sure, but a lot of it wasn't just him, and a lot of it was also improvements on other peoples prior work (light bulb, motíon picture camera, phonograph all existed in some form before Edison "invented" them), that's a good example. I don't completely disagree with your point of patents being somewhat valid, but what I am saying is that they aren't always a good thing. As a new company, you could get screwed over completely by lawyerbadgering oligopolies, but I guess we should all just salute the large corporations and just forget about new innovative companies that have no place in the world anymore.

Richard G 01-19-2012 01:37

A sad development. Reading The Economist article, The Last Kodak Moment, and learning not so much of Kodak's various missteps but of the radical measures required at Fujifilm to allow it to survive, I can't really see that this is an event where someone needs to be blamed. Hopefully they can develop some new business and keep our favourite films coming, but I guess that is unlikely.

thegman 01-19-2012 01:41

I'm looking on the bright side, Kodak could not have continued the way they were, and now, after a long time, they are going to have to make some serious changes. I'd much rather see a much smaller Kodak turn a profit, than a much larger one report a loss.

I do think that if the film division was spun off, it could have a bright future, film is still a billion dollar business, there is no reason why a different Kodak could be a very successful company in the future.

sevo 01-19-2012 01:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by semilog (Post 1791327)
In other words Edison -- arguably the most important and prolific inventor in American history -- was by any reasonable definition a patent troll.

And much of the early motion picture history consists of "criminal pirates" battling back the Edison Trust, and eventually settling in Hollywood, as far as possible from New York jurisdiction...

Teuthida 01-19-2012 01:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegman (Post 1791332)
I'm looking on the bright side, Kodak could not have continued the way they were, and now, after a long time, they are going to have to make some serious changes. I'd much rather see a much smaller Kodak turn a profit, than a much larger one report a loss.

I do think that if the film division was spun off, it could have a bright future, film is still a billion dollar business, there is no reason why a different Kodak could be a very successful company in the future.

Agreed. Ironically, I think Kodak needs to dump their digital emphasis and go back to what they do best i.e. film technology. Obviously, it will be a much smaller company, but it will at least survive in some fashion as opposed to simpky being a forgotten dinosaur.

Leigh Youdale 01-19-2012 02:18

I think some people are being a bit harsh and judgemental without showing a sufficiently broad overview of economic and industrial history.
Reflect for a moment on some of the giants of American industry that were started on the cusp of a huge technology surge in the industrial world around the turn of the century and which prospered mightily during and after World Wars 1 & 2.

Everyone benefited from their output and innovation, especially through the 40's, 50's and 60's but as they grew and grew they also became less and less flexible at the same time and their very size and success blinded them to the dangers of thinking things would never change but continued growth and markets were assured.
Look at the size of some of those global companies today compared to where they once were. General Motors? Bethlehem Steel? DuPont? Kodak? PanAm? The railways? The list could go on and on.

And sometimes they became a bit arrogant too. Two examples I have a little knowledge about might illustrate the point. DuPont's development committee rejected a new fibre invented in their labs because they "couldn't see a use for it" Today it's known as Goretex.
Kodak did the same thing when offered the rather primitive process that became Xerox. Why? "Because it isn't photography".

It's part of industrial evolution and rather than venting our spleen at the company, think more about the employees, the Mum and Dad shareholders, the retirees and the communities that are going to be impacted far more personally than a few photographers moaning about possibly losing their favourite film supply.

Having said that, and as others have noted, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is designed to allow an orderly reorganisation which may - or may not - save key parts of the company. If successful, they will probably trade out of Chapter 11 and maybe that will include the film manufacturing.

We should all be hoping so.

cambolt 01-19-2012 03:10

I don't think there are very many large companies that haven't resorted to pathetic lawsuits, and other dirty antics.
Surely someone will buy into Tri-x, it's got to be one of the most popular films. (as far as I can see, it is THE most popular film)

johannielscom 01-19-2012 03:52

Kodak gone, maybe.

Bigger market cuts for Fujifilm, Efke, Adox, Fomapan, Ilford. I suspect C-41 and E-6 will be the next niche and it will require one or two more shakedowns before we will have a small number of manufacturers for B&W films.

Might take years though before we get there. I'll continue to stock up anyway :)

luuca 01-19-2012 03:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by cambolt (Post 1791363)
I don't think there are very many large companies that haven't resorted to pathetic lawsuits, and other dirty antics.
Surely someone will buy into Tri-x, it's got to be one of the most popular films. (as far as I can see, it is THE most popular film)

yes, and it will cost 2x the actual price...

jsrockit 01-19-2012 04:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by je2a3 (Post 1791318)
+ 1, keep Tri-X, reintroduce Plus-X and more...

Yeah, that'll save em! :o

Nikon Bob 01-19-2012 04:47

What an anticlimax. They are not going anywhere soon, it is a Chapter 11 filing.

Bob

Sarcophilus Harrisii 01-19-2012 04:48

Gee. What a day. Tri-X isn't available for retail sale in Australia (not my part of it, anyway). After buying some on line recently I loaded it into my Rolleiflex and exposed my first frames of it today. To come home and read this news is poignant, indeed. I hope the outcome for the company is the best which might be expected.
Regards,
Brett

chris00nj 01-19-2012 05:00

Many companies continue to operate in Chapter 11 like not much as happened. I expect to see TriX sold for a long time.

steveyork 01-19-2012 05:37

They should've reorganized their debt a long time ago. This was inevitable.

steveyork 01-19-2012 05:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by kode (Post 1791317)
I am pretty sure there is quite the gradation between having patents and defending them when competitors do not license them, and being a patent troll existing solely to sue every other company making anything resembling anything in your patent portfolio. Proving prior arts to patents a patent troll has filed can in some cases be a pretty costly process, and the practice of patent trolling does in no way encourage the development of new technology. Kodak isn't the worst offender by a long shot, but they do partake in the practice somewhat. The last weeks, Kodak has sued both Samsung and Fujifilm for, e.g., for a patent sounding a lot like what "live view" is, taking still photos while previewing a motion capture.

In the legal system, here in the US, and probably the UK too (and any system derived from the Brits), you most likely risk losing your rights if you don't defend your patents. I don't think you can just sit on your hands and do nothing.

Snacks 01-19-2012 05:42

Further discussion http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16625725 and the statement from Kodak http://investor.kodak.com/phoenix.zh...196&highlight=

2lookdown 01-19-2012 06:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Murphy (Post 1791291)
Glad to see them gone. Any company going around trying to shake down other companies for tribute the way they do needs to go bankrupt. Kodak actually patents such incredible innovations as computers sending other computers data (in 2007 no less). They are pathetic.

Shame on you. Kodak makes perfect film, Apple makes nice things for someone. Everybody likes Apple but almost nobody blames Apple for patent trolling around Samsung on the Apples peak of popularity/profit.
Just someone blames ill-formed US patent system.
Do you really know details about last suing between Apple & Samsung?
Apple & US patent system are just dumb, but nobody cares. And the Kodak is a monster of course...ha-ha

jsrockit 01-19-2012 06:14

Many people look down upon Apple's practices.

dcsang 01-19-2012 06:22

I just want my film - I don't care about patents, "Patent Trolls", the patent system or any of that - I can't control that - but what I can control is buying film - so as long as I can still buy Tri-X, Portra and a few other ones; I'll be happy.

Selfishly,
Dave

lonelyboy 01-19-2012 06:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Riverman (Post 1791316)
They've filed for Ch 11, not Ch 7. So they have not gone into liquidation. In effect Ch 11 allows the insolvent firm to discriminate between its finance creditors and its trade creditors. Business will continue as Kodak seek reorganisation/restructuring. It seems as if half of all US airlines are in Ch 11 half the time! It's still a sad day and query whether the film biz will survive. If i could pick one Kodak product to save it would be ektachrome but i'm not holding my breath.

Yes, you are right. Kodak is filing for bankruptcy protection Ch 11, not in bankruptcy. The objective of Ch 11 bankruptcy protection is to make the company to have uninterrupted operations, not stopping and liquidating it.

kode 01-19-2012 06:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by steveyork (Post 1791442)
In the legal system, here in the US, and probably the UK too (and any system derived from the Brits), you most likely risk losing your rights if you don't defend your patents. I don't think you can just sit on your hands and do nothing.

But you do not see a gradation between defending patents and frivolous litigation?

keytarjunkie 01-19-2012 07:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by claacct (Post 1791511)
Airlines are in the business of selling an inelastic product, while Kodak is in the business of selling outdated and sub par products that no one wants anymore. Their film business is miniscule but the rest of Kodak's products are crap by all standards; therefore, this Ch11 bankruptcy is the official end of Kodak - unless they come up with some revolutionary product(s) overnight, they're finished.

I don't know...if they restructure and shed some weight, and especially if they sell some patents/sue more people :rolleyes: they could come out with another few years left in them. And then maybe they'll create a decent digital product.

I think it's still possible for a company to produce mostly film products in this day and age, but it's a very small niche market and Kodak is way too big to be handling it properly. On the bright side, if Kodak folds, many will turn to Fuji and that will help keep their film profits up. I just talked to a Fuji rep who told me that if Kodak were to go under, Fuji would reconsider producing films such as C41 4x5 film (only portra and ektar right now) and other stuff.

Sparrow 01-19-2012 07:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by steveyork (Post 1791442)
In the legal system, here in the US, and probably the UK too (and any system derived from the Brits), you most likely risk losing your rights if you don't defend your patents. I don't think you can just sit on your hands and do nothing.

Why blame us for US propensity for malicious prosecution, Kodak has been a predatorily litigant for many years now

sc_rufctr 01-19-2012 07:55

Tragic... I can't help but feel a real sense of loss.

PatrickONeill 01-19-2012 08:09

while I doubt this means the end of the kodak film line, ordered some more tri-x just to be on the safe side.

FrozenInTime 01-19-2012 08:31

Bought some more Portra 160,400 and Tri-X as assurance of supply - just incase there is panic buying ... not that that's what I'm doing :confused:

Don't really care for or believe there is future for any of their printer or camera products in a highly saturated consumer marketplace.
Perhaps there is more hope for the commercial side of the company.

David Murphy 01-19-2012 08:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2lookdown (Post 1791458)
Shame on you. Kodak makes perfect film, Apple makes nice things for someone. Everybody likes Apple but almost nobody blames Apple for patent trolling around Samsung on the Apples peak of popularity/profit.
Just someone blames ill-formed US patent system.
Do you really know details about last suing between Apple & Samsung?
Apple & US patent system are just dumb, but nobody cares. And the Kodak is a monster of course...ha-ha

I read a couple of their "patents" - they could have been written by any bright teenager - they are a joke. Everything in them is a rehash of the obvious. Kodak is a disgrace. I have no special love for Apple - they may well be doing the same thing.


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