SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

April 11, 2012 08:20 ET

Patents Quickly Becoming Invaluable Assets to World's Technology Giants

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Yahoo! Inc. and Eastman Kodak Company

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 11, 2012) - The Technology Sector patent wars have started to heat up once again. Booming markets for smartphones and tablet computers have caused patents for these devices to become invaluable assets to the world's technology giants. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Technology Sector and provides equity research on Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Eastman Kodak Company (PINKSHEETS: EKDKQ).

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On Monday Microsoft agreed to purchase 800 patents from AOL for over $1 billion, which works out to be a price tag of $1.3 million per patent. The high prices companies are paying reflect the major role patents are playing in the business and legal strategies of major tech companies. Patent claims and counter claims are being filed almost every day in courtrooms around the world. "Microsoft is increasing its arsenal, even if it is expensive," said James E. Bessen, a patent expert and lecturer at the Boston University School of Law.

"The analogy people use is that this is like nuclear (weapons) stockpiling, where companies have been acquiring patents to deter each other from attacking," Timothy Lee from the Cato Institute said. "Now we've gone from a cold war to an actual war where companies are suing each other."

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Yahoo! Inc., the premier digital media company, recently announced that its Board appointed three new independent directors, effective April 5, 2012: John D. Hayes, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of American Express Company; Peter Liguori, former Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Communications, Inc. and former Chairman and President of Entertainment of Fox Broadcasting Network; and Thomas J. McInerney, the outgoing Chief Financial Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp.

Eastman Kodak Company has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Shutterfly, a leading Internet-based social expression and personal publishing service, for the proposed sale of certain assets of its KODAK Gallery on-line photo services business for $23.8 million. The terms of the agreement include the transfer of Gallery customer accounts and images in the U.S. and Canada to Shutterfly. The agreement comprises the initial, stalking horse bid in a Court-supervised auction process under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that will ensure the maximization of value for the assets.

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