Apple and Google Lead Separate Groups in Bidding for Kodak Patents
Google and Apple are once again going head to head in bidding for a major collection of patents owned by a bankrupt corporation. According to The Wall Street Journal, two consortiums have formed to bid for the patents owned by camera giant Kodak, which is currently in bankruptcy.
Apple, Microsoft, and patent-aggregation firm Intellectual Ventures are teaming up, while Google, Samsung, LG, HTC and RPX Corp are forming the second alliance.
The people familiar with the discussions cautioned that work on bids could continue over the weekend, with alliances changing and other bidders potentially emerging.
A bankruptcy court supervised auction of Kodak's patents is set for Aug. 8. The patents are being sold in two lots: the digital-capture portfolio related to capturing and processing images on cameras, smartphones and tablets; and the Kodak Imaging Systems and Services patents related to storing and analyzing images, among other things.
The two teams are unsurprising. A consortium consisting of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM, and Sony purchased 6,000 patents from Nortel last year, beating out a group that included Intel and Google. For the Kodak patents, we see Google paired up with Samsung, LG and HTC -- three major Android handset makers -- along with RPX Corp., another patent aggregation firm.
Apple and Kodak have filed a number of lawsuits and countersuits against each other in the ongoing tech patent wars.