Kodak Licenses Its Name To Digital Camera Maker

fromWXXI

Kodak cameras and related products will be back in the marketplace this year, but they won't be made my Kodak. The photo pioneer stopped making digital cameras about a year ago. Now it is licensing its name to another camera maker.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Eastman Kodak, the troubled photography industry giant, stopped making digital cameras almost a year ago, but soon consumers will see the brand on shelves once more - thanks to an agreement that lends the Kodak name to another company.

Kate O'Connell of member station WXXI has more.

KATE O'CONNELL, BYLINE: You may start noticing the Kodak brand on digital products in the next few months, but they'll be designed and manufactured by JK Imaging. Kodak spokesperson Krista Gleason says the deal shows that, despite the company's highly publicized financial problems, the name still has business value.

KRISTA GLEASON: This is good news because it reinforces the strength and value of the Kodak brand worldwide, including in the consumer space.

O'CONNELL: Pete Canalichio dispenses advice on branding for consulting company The Blake Project. He says that Kodak's move carries a little risk.

PETE CANALICHIO: Whenever you give your brand to someone else, you're risking that that third party may do some things with your brand that would not be good for the brand, they may diminish some equities of the brand.

O'CONNELL: Kodak's Krista Gleason says the company has been licensing its brand to several other companies for years. The global agreement will see the first camera products on the shelves by the second quarter of this year. JK Imaging got its start in 2005.

The company didn't answer requests for interviews, but in a statement, they described the partnership with Kodak as, quote, "a natural fit for the two companies." The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

For NPR News, I'm Kate O'Connell in Rochester, New York.

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