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Kodak Sells OLED Unit to LG

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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Dec. 14 -- Eastman Kodak Co. announced it will sell its organic LED (OLED) display business to a group of LG companies. Financial details were not disclosed.

Kodak has been a pioneer in developing technology associated with OLED displays; in the 1970s, the company's scientists developed the first viable OLED material. The company has more than 1900 issued and pending OLED-related patents worldwide.

In May 2009, Kodak announced it was awarded a two-year, $1.7 million contract by the US Department of Energy (DoE) to develop key technologies and processes for OLED lighting panels. Earlier this year, the DoE also recognized the company's advances in OLED technology for solid-state lighting applications by presenting Kodak with an award for excellence in project execution for exceeding the project efficacy target of 50 lumens per watt (lm/W) by developing an OLED that delivers 56 lm/W, a life of 10,000 hours.

Kodak said selling the business will tighten its investment focus and strengthen its financial position. The agreement also settles patent litigation the two companies have pending against each other with the US International Trade Commission.

“As we said earlier this year, OLED is one of the businesses we wanted to reposition to maximize Kodak’s competitive advantage at the intersection of materials and imaging science,” said Laura G. Quatela, Kodak’s chief intellectual property officer and manager of the company’s OLED business. “This action is consistent with that strategy. Our OLED intellectual property portfolio is fundamental; however, realizing the full value of this business would have required significant investment.”

Kodak also announced it signed a technology cross-license with LG Electronics Inc., ensuring that it will have continuing access to its OLED technology for use in its products. Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2009.

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Dec 2009
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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