Kodak, a company founded right here in the U.S. of A. in Rochester, New York, has today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Once a giant, Kodak continued to rely on the sale of film while competitors went digital (and took that space over). Now, Kodak wants to remake itself in a digital image, but the company's also got a secret weapon up its sleeve.
That secret weapon? Lawsuits. Lots and lots of lawsuits. What Kodak lacks in saleable goods it makes up for in the patents it holds. The company is now going after HTC, Samsung, RIM and even Apple, largely for how the smartphones produced by the companies send out digital images. Apparently Kodak has a patent for that.
Will it be enough? Hard to say. The digital camera space is crowded, and its market leaders are entrenched. The last decade has been pretty tough on Kodak. Since 2003, the company has had to let go of 47,000 of its workers and close 13 manufacturing plants and 130 film processing labs. Kodak's got $950 million in credit from Citigroup to help pay its remaining workers' wages and benefits, but that amount of cash isn't much of a future to bank on.