After months of speculations and with the recent patent lawsuits against Samsung and Fujifilm, Kodak Eastman and its US subsidiaries have officially declared bankruptcy.

Kodak Headquarters - photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

What does this actually mean? According to Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Eastman Chariman and CEO:

Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation. At the same time as we have created our digital business, we have also already effectively exited certain traditional operations, closing 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing labs, and reducing our workforce by 47,000 since 2003. Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetizing non-core IP assets. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company.”

Kodak has also stated that the business will run normally during the reorganization and that the consumers don’t need to worry because Kodak has secured $950 million from Citgroup to maintain all the necessary end-user operations available. Kodak’s estimates are to complete its U.S.-based restructuring by 2013 after prelimirary discussions with key constituencies and it hopes to maximize the value of patents and print technologies.

“Chapter 11 gives us the best opportunities to maximize the value in two critical parts of our technology portfolio: our digital capture patents, which are essential for a wide range of mobile and other consumer electronic devices that capture digital images and have generated over $3 billion of licensing revenues since 2003; and our breakthrough printing and deposition technologies, which give Kodak a competitive advantage in our growing digital businesses,” says Mr Perez.

It will be interesting to see how things will unfold with the patent lawsuit now that Kodak has officially declared bankruptcy. Don’t forget that Kodak has a long and successful history of 131 years when it was founded in 1880 by George Eastman. Even though you think that you don’t have anything in common with Kodak, there’s a big chance that you have a photo from when you were young that has the Kodak logo printed out all over on its backside.