A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that Eastman Kodak Co. back out of its sponsorship deal for the Hollywood venue that hosts the Academy Awards. Judge Allan Gropper declined to rule whether Kodak’s name should be removed before the February 26 Oscars ceremony. Building owner CIM had argued that it would be unfair for Kodak to remove its sign before the Oscars. Gropper told CIM attorneys “if you believe it would be better to leave the sign up, I suppose the result will be Billy Crystal will make some joke about this being the Kodak Theatre and Kodak being in Chapter 11.” Gropper said, “I think that damages Kodak more than it affects your client.” The two parties should decide when the name will be removed, Gropper said, leaving open the possibility either side could seek damages if they are unable to resolve the dispute.
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