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Kodak, once a giant like Apple, may be heading for bankruptcy court

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 6, 2012 | 2 min read

Once it ranked among America's corporate titans, the Apple or Google of its day. Now Kodak is reported to be getting ready to seek bankruptcy protection.

Kodak: the famous logo

The move would be a stunning comedown for the 131-year-old company, said the Wall Street Journal .

Kodak is still trying to sell some of its many patents - and could avoid a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing if it succeeds.

But , just in case , Kodak is reportedly discussing with banks a possible billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings.

The bankruptcy filing could come as soon as this month or early February, a person familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

Kodak would operate normally while under bankruptcy protection - but the company's focus would then be the sale of some 1,100 patents through a court-supervised auction.

Kodak, headquartered in Rochester, New York produced thousands of breakthroughs in imaging and other technologies- including the digital camera in 1975. But it never managed to capitalise on the new technology, said the Journal.

As its film business shrank in the 1980s and 1990s, Kodak decided to focus on consumer and commercial printers .

But none new brought in enough cash to fund the change in course and cover the company's obligations to its retirees. The fate of the company's 19,000 employees is now in doubt.

Kodak's founder, George Eastman, took his life at the age of 77 in what is now a museum celebrating the founder and Kodak's impact on photography, said the Journal. His suicide note read: "To my friends, my work is done. Why wait?"

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