Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK) popped this morning, up 11% as of this writing.

So what: Was it an earnings beat that did it? Confirmation of last year's buyout rumors? Actually, neither one of those. It seems the likely catalyst for today's pop may be as little a thing as a throwaway line in today's Wall Street Journal, which referred to analyst musings that Kodak's "patent portfolio is worth more than the company's" own market cap.

Now what: According to the Journal, Kodak's busy trying to monetize that patent portfolio, putting it up for bid to buyers who, until recently, it's been licensing the rights to use its patents. The question then becomes, though -- what next? Kodak's currently unprofitable. Analysts don't think the company will earn any profit next year, either. Even if Kodak does succeed in finding a buyer for its intellectual property, investors have to wonder: Will Kodak still be worth owning once the patents are all gone?

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Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own (or short) shares of any stock named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.