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Apple and Google Teaming Up on $500 Million Bid for Kodak Patents

Bloomberg reports that Apple and Google have joined forces to put forward a bid of more than $500 million to purchase the patent portfolio of bankrupt imaging pioneer Eastman Kodak.
The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate consortia this summer to buy Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

Unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralize potential infringement litigation.
Sources indicate that Apple had originally teamed up with Microsoft and patent holding company Intellectual Ventures, while Google had aligned with its hardware partners and patent holding firm RPX.

The report does not indicate why Apple and Google ultimately decided to abandon their separate bids and team up on an offer for Kodak's patents, although a previous report had indicated that the two sides were likely cooperating in order to prevent a bidding war that would drive up the cost of the patents.

Kodak's bankruptcy financing is contingent upon the company receiving at least $500 million for its patent portfolio, and the joint bid by Apple and Google seems to meet that requirement.

Apple and Kodak have a bit of an interesting history, having worked together on a mid-1990s project for Apple's QuickTake line of digital cameras. The intellectual property from that collaboration has been the subject of some dispute, with Apple claiming that Kodak is not the rightful owner of patents related to that work.

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24 months ago

Sad to see Kodak go :(


I have to agree, it is sad. In so many ways, Kodak is photography.
Rating: 14 Votes
24 months ago
Sad to see Kodak go :(
Rating: 14 Votes
24 months ago
Excellent.

Thermonuclear friendship.
Rating: 13 Votes
24 months ago
Apple and Google
Sittin' in a tree
In-te-llectual pro-per-ty
Rating: 12 Votes
24 months ago

Google has no right even to bid on these patents. Apple and Kodak invented the digital camera and now Google shall have Apple's hard work just like that? Patent system is really broken.:rolleyes:


Pipe down fanboy.
Rating: 7 Votes
24 months ago

More like collusion.


Apple doesn't really _want_ these patents, all they want is not getting sued by Google or anyone else. And Google doesn't really _want_ these patents, all they want is not getting sued by Apple or anyone else. Since there is an obvious way how they can both achieve what they want at a relatively low price, instead of getting in a bidding war in which one achieves what they want at a much too high cost, and the other loses out, it would be outright stupidity not to team up.

Kodak will get what the patents are worth, and not more. If someone thinks they are worth more than $500 million, they can bid.


Google has no right even to bid on these patents. Apple and Kodak invented the digital camera and now Google shall have Apple's hard work just like that? Patent system is really broken.:rolleyes:


Here is your problem: I bet you don't make underwear. I bet you don't make trousers, shirts, socks, or shoes. So obviously you don't have any right to buy any of these and have to run around naked for the rest of your life.
Rating: 4 Votes
24 months ago
cooperation? :eek:
Rating: 3 Votes
24 months ago

No sad at all. Although the digital research and innovation were integral to the development of those technologies, most everything else they was sub-standard or plain bad: color paper that was just garbage, consumer film that was grainy, professional film with poor contrast and color fidelity, consumer electronics that were out of date before they hit the market, etc

The only exceptions were Eastman motion picture films which were outstanding.

The demise of Kodak is a warning for Apple: innovate quality or die!


You're joking right? Kodak's professional film was and still is the standard. I'm a professional photographer (a real one, not an ex-dentist that now takes pictures of pregnant moms and pets) and when I shoot film only use Kodak. Tri-x is THE legendary b&w film. Kodachrome is a beyond iconic color film and Portra is a spectacular color negative film.

So, while Kodak screwed a lot of things up, professional film was never one of them.
Rating: 3 Votes
24 months ago

I'm now tempted to combine images of explosions with rainbows and ponies.


Are you implying that you don't have already dozens of those on your computer? What kind of monster are you?
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago

Kodak was a film company. An expert in film. They couldn't save themselves because film died.

They could have started selling Kodak toothpaste or digital cameras but that would not have 'saved' the company. It would have just been a different company with a very similar sounding name.


Well, film is died because Kodak acted like Nokia on R&D in the last years. Sigma does a nice work using the film concept (3-layers RGB sensor). Color rendering on Foveon sensors are the best in the market.

Also, even the chemical film could be innovated, making processing and scanning easier to the end user. However, in the last years Kodak concentrated their efforts on making cheap digital cameras and pushing the printing business. It isn't the film that was becoming obsolete, but the idea of printing pictures in paper. An easy develop-and-scan (share) device would probably make film live longer.

By the way, I still take pictures with my 135 reflex cameras sometimes. I have a Nikon Coolscan V (launched in 2005) scanner which outputs 20MP digital pictures in 14-bit per channel. The results are pretty impressive even in 2012. If I had a 120-format camera and a Nikon 9000 scanner, the results would pair most recent medium format digital cameras.

In short, it's not the film that died, but the way Kodak (and Fujifilm, although Fuji is acting pretty well in the digital camera market) carried its business.
Rating: 2 Votes

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