Technology Scribes

IMAX Gains Rights to Kodak's Laser Projection Technology

IMAX, the Canadian entertainment and technology company, has been granted an exclusive license to over 50 technology patents for a laser technology projection designed by Kodak. The recent deal is expected to greatly enhance the public's movie-going experience in more and more IMAX theaters around the globe.

Truly at the cutting edge entertainment, IMAX CEO, Richard Gelfond, said that Kodak's intellectual property will "enhance the cinematic experience for consumers, enable the application of digital technology in our larger and institutional theatres, and make being in business with IMAX even easier and more profitable".

Expected to be installed by late 2013, Kodak's technology will allow IMAX to deliver digital content suitable for larger screens. IMAX currently still makes use of the traditional film format. The deal includes exclusive rights to complementary laser projection technologies as well as in digital cinema field. No amount has been disclosed for the deal, but it will include up-front and milestone payments, including royalties.

Eastman Kodak's deal with IMAX comes amid speculations regarding the financial health of Kodak, with some insinuating that the company may file for bankruptcy. However, Kodak has denied these rumors. The IMAX deal will make Kodak realize part of its target to boost its coffers by $250 million to $350 million annually through intellectual property. Marketing its patents through Lazard Ltd., Kodak has over 1,100 patents pertaining to the capturing, processing, storing, editing, and sharing digital images.

IMAX, in coordination with Kodak engineers, are said to have commenced conversion of two thirds of its 585 theaters from 50 to 70 feet screens to 80 to 100 feet wide formats. Promising features such as increased sharpness and brightness, IMAX and Kodak will ensure that improvements are implemented on target and on schedule. IMAX can look forward to a great deal of savings with a film delivery in digital format, costing only $150 compared to a typical film print which can cost as much as $30,000.

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