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.

Top Rated Comments

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103 months ago

Sad to see Kodak go :(


I have to agree, it is sad. In so many ways, Kodak is photography.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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103 months ago
Sad to see Kodak go :(
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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103 months ago
Excellent.

Thermonuclear friendship.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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103 months ago
Apple and Google
Sittin' in a tree
In-te-llectual pro-per-ty
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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103 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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
103 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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