By Stephanie Gleason
A bankruptcy judge approved the sale of three Digital Domain Media Group Inc. (>> Digital Domain Media Group Inc) patents to three-dimensional-technology licensing company RealD Inc. (>> RealD) for $5.45 million.
The sale was one component of a second set of assets Digital Domain is auctioning after having sold the majority of its assets in September for $30.2 million to a joint venture formed by Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co. and Reliance MediaWorks Ltd. (532399.BY).
According to its website, RealD licenses its technologies, which include eyewear and digital displays, to consumer-electronics manufacturers and content producers.
The confirmation resolved an objection from Lucasfilm Ltd., but Walt Disney Co. (>> The Walt Disney Company) has filed a letter saying it will appeal the sale.
George Lucas's famed studio, which was acquired recently by Disney, had asked the court to confirm the buyer of these patents can't sue it for patent infringement over a project it already completed. Lucasfilm had an agreement with Digital Domain that allowed the company to use the three-dimensional-conversion technology.
In his order, Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., preserved Lucasfilm's right to use the technology in the conversion of the movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to three dimensions.
Disney had an agreement to use this technology on movies including "G-Force" and "Alice in Wonderland." Judge Shannon had ruled the past agreement to use this technology doesn't authorize Disney to continue to use it.
Digital Domain sought Chapter 11 protection Sept. 11, less than a year after going public. Co-founded by award-winning director James Cameron in 1993, Digital Domain has produced visual effects for more than 90 movies and has won Academy Awards for several, including "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Titanic."
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(Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review covers news about distressed companies and those under bankruptcy protection. Go to http://dbr.dowjones.com)
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