What happens to Kodak IP licensees now that bankruptcy has been sought?

The Intellectual Property and Transactional Law Clinic at Richmond covered this in a brief paper, at least as it pertains to federal law.

  1. Section 101(35)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code limits intellectual property in bankruptcy to trade secrets, patents, (and patent applications) and copyrights.
  2. The Code gives Kodak three options with respect to contractual obligations: assume, reject or assign.
    1. This assumes ownership issues are clear. Apple is asserting it owns some of the IP Kodak is claiming, and is asking the court to disallow its use as collateral for a loan.
    2. As rejection of a license (in order to end costly upgrades, for example) would be unduly harsh on the licensee, the Code allows for options, including the licensee’s continuation of the “rejected” license, though without any upgrades from the debtor-licensor.