IMAX is eager to do away with expensive 70mm prints in their full-sized “real” IMAX screens and OmniMax domes, and Kodak is eager to have some regular cashflow again, so it appears a new patent agreement between the two companies is a match made in heaven. The deal involves IMAX acquiring access to Kodak’s laser projection technology, which should allow the sharper, brighter, and more precise images required for quality large-screen playback, all for an upfront payment of “tens of millions of dollars,” with a good royalty rate after that. This new revenue stream will allow Kodak to continue operations without filing for bankruptcy while they decide what to do with their larger patent portfolio.
The move toward digital imaging and away from traditional film and photochemical processing has put the once powerful and household name manufacturer in a less than comfortable financial position, and so their patents in things like camera design have become their most valuable asset. With other traditional camera manufacturers like Arri abandoning new film camera development, it looks like getting out while the getting’s good might be the best way to preserve Kodak’s legacy.
Via: [New York Times]