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Kodak patent sale to move forward in spite of Apple ownership claims

A bankruptcy court judge has approved the sale of a collection of over 1,100 of Kodak's patents in spite of Apple's attempts to block the auction on the grounds that it has a claim on some of the intellectual property.

Kodak said in a statement that the auction is expected to take place in August,AFP reported on Tuesday. According to the companies, buyers will be able to purchase the patents "free and clear of all ownership allegations" from either Apple or Flashpoint Technology.

"The Apple and FlashPoint claims are baseless and Kodak will still seek dismissal on summary judgment in July," said Kodak Chief Intellectual Property Officer Timothy Lynch.

According to the report, the patent sale will include 700 patents for "image capture, processing and transmission technologies for digital cameras and other devices" and 400 over patents related to "tools for image analysis, manipulation, tagging, and network-based services."

The photography pioneer filed for bankruptcy protection in January, billing it as a necessary step toward completing its "transformation" into the digital era.

Kodak had hoped to drum up cash from Apple with patent litigation, but it failed to gain the upper hand against the iPhone maker, despite the fact that it had successfully asserted one of its digital imaging patents against other handset makers.

The company then desperately tried to sell off its patents, but it was unable to find a buyer. By its own admission, offloading the patents was one of Kodak's primary goals in filing for bankruptcy.

Apple has been active in its efforts to block the patent sale, claiming ownership of 10 of the patents from the two companies' collaboration on the QuickTake camera in the 1990s. Kodak had responded with its own legal actions to stop Apple.