Orphan IP?

The news that Hostess Brands is shutting down its operations as a result of a nasty labor dispute broke today. A quick search of Trademark Office records shows that they have a hundred or more active marks, including TWINKIES,  HO HO’S, DING DONGS and HOME PRIDE BREAD. The company is reportedly operating under bankruptcy court protection, so, fear not, somebody else will come in to gobble up those tasty brands.  Kodak recently reached a deal with bondholders for $793 million in loans that could help take the onetime photography icon out of bankruptcy proceedings if it sells a collection of patents for at least $500 million, the company said. The once mighty industrial company (Kodak, I mean) is being sold for scrap, but what a large pile of scrap- $500 million.

Hostess Brands has some strong marks, and the individual parts may be greater than the ongoing baking enterprise.

Do not underestimate the value of brands, even sweet, squishy ones.

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