Apple And Google Join Forces To Acquire Kodak Patents
According to a Bloomberg report, Apple and Google could be joining forces to buy Eastman Kodak patents out of bankruptcy for around $500 million.
Apple’s groups aiming for the Kodak patents included Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, sources said, while Google’s associates included patent risk solutions company RPX and the makers of Google’s Android phones.
Kodak went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January and got a cash infusion based largely on the value that could be realized on the auction of its patent portfolio. Kodak has a huge amount of digital imaging patents and estimates the stack’s value at over $2bn at current market rates.
Unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralize potential infringement litigation. A group including Apple,Microsoft Corp. and Research in Motion Ltd. bought Nortel Networks Corp.’s more than 6,000 patents for $4.5 billion out of bankruptcy last year. Google lost the auction for those patents after making an initial offer of $900 million.
[quote]“Apple and Google learned a lesson from the Nortel’s auction,” said Richard Ehrlickman, former vice president of Intellectual Property at International Business Machines Corp. and president of IP Offerings, a patent brokerage and consulting company in the Bloomberg report. “They have decided to come together in this process to reduce the cost of purchasing the Kodak patents, while meeting their business needs.”[/quote]
What exactly the two companies would do with the Kodak patents is unclear, but owning patents is a thing companies like to do. So, maybe they’ll just own them to own them. There’s always that option.