A US bankruptcy judge has granted Kodak the right to sell over 1,100 patents in spite of continuing ownership litigation with Apple.
Judge Allan Gropper said in a court order that Kodak would be able sell-off patents while Apple's ownership suit moves through the courts.
Apple and co-defendant FlashPoint contend that a number of the patents up for sale were jointly created by the companies in the early 1990s. Kodak continues to deny such allegations.
"The Apple and FlashPoint claims are baseless and Kodak will still seek dismissal on summary judgment in July," said Kodak vice president and chief intellectual property officer Timothy Lynch in a statement.
"However, today's ruling provides a court-approved process allowing buyers to acquire the patents free and clear of all ownership allegations, regardless of the status of the dispute with Apple and Flashpoint at the time of closing."
Judge Gropper's ruling to go ahead with the auction won't bring the lawsuit to an end. Kodak will attempt to get the case dismissed later this month, if a dismissal is not granted the case will move forward separately from Kodak's patent sell-off.
As part of Judge Gropper's ruling, the winning bidder will be granted a court order which protects it from any third-party ownership claims. Kodak plans to begin auction bidding in early August.
Apple had presented the lawsuit in an attempt to stop the sale of the patents in question. The iPhone maker claimed co-ownership on a number of the patents. Kodak called the allegations "baseless" and counter sued Apple for tampering.
The sell-off of patents is Kodak's attempt to garner revenue during its bankruptcy. The company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, and hopes to generate cash assets through the sell off.
Apple was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.
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