Microsoft and Apple could team up to buy Kodak's patents

In January, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and proceeded to make cuts to their long running photo business. Among their plans to get out of their massive financial hole was to sell off its patents. Now it looks like two groups are aiming to bid on those patents, including one that has two rather unlikely allies.

The Wall Street Journal reports, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft and Apple are the members of one of the groups aiming to claim Kodak's patents. They are joined by the patent-aggregation firm Intellectual Ventures Management. The other group consists of Google, Samsung, LG and HTC, along with another patent-aggregation firm, RPX Corp.

The inital bid offer deadline is set for Monday and the auction is scheduled to begin on August 8th. The report states that other bidders might come into the auction. Even the current company alliances could change before the deadline.

Kodak's patents are being sold in two different lots. One of them deals with digital capture software and technology and the other lot has all of Kodak's patents dealing with storing and analyzing images. Combined, the patents could be worth up to $2.6 billion and would go a long way to restoring Kodak's financial health.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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19 Comments

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isn't Kodak the holder of Digital Camera Patent (after all it was a Kodak engineer who made that)? That alone could be a huge patent to get at.

anyways, it's sad to see a organization such as this getting ripped apart because of bad management.

rwx said,
I hope Google somehow manages to get these patents. Google, what are you waiting for???

I think Google is the last company on earth I would want to have them.

TRC said,

I think Google is the last company on earth I would want to have them.


Agreed. Google gaining control over something like this only hurts the industry and consumers.

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. Google gaining control over something like this only hurts the industry and consumers.

I do not believe Google would use these patents to hurt the industry. Google needs these patents to protect itself. Because if Apple and Microsoft get the patents, expect more law suites, licensing fees and product bans.


Now it looks like two groups are aiming to bid on those patents, including one that has two rather unlikely allies.

Apple and Microsoft have been coordinating parallel attacks against Android and Google for quite some time now, so the notion that they are just now becoming allies is inaccurate.

In fact, when was the last time Microsoft or Apple sued each other? Over a decade ago. They are best pals these days, joined by their mutual love of patents and abusing the legal system for anti-competitive purposes.

simplezz said,

Apple and Microsoft have been coordinating parallel attacks against Android and Google for quite some time now, so the notion that they are just now becoming allies is inaccurate.

In fact, when was the last time Microsoft or Apple sued each other? Over a decade ago. They are best pals these days, joined by their mutual love of patents and abusing the legal system for anti-competitive purposes.

They do not sue each other because they have a mutual licensing agreement.

In the mobile arena Microsoft and Apple appear to be teaming up to fight Android so their alliance isn't perhaps as unlikely as it may seem at face value.

How is it Unlikely ?
Apple and Microsoft have had close ties for years, and currently already have a patent sharing agreement, so it makes sense that they would team up for a common goal..

Ryoken said,
How is it Unlikely ?
Apple and Microsoft have had close ties for years, and currently already have a patent sharing agreement, so it makes sense that they would team up for a common goal..

They also purchased the Nortel patents together with Sony and RIM. ("Rockstar")

Ryoken said,
How is it Unlikely ?
Apple and Microsoft have had close ties for years, and currently already have a patent sharing agreement, so it makes sense that they would team up for a common goal..

Absolutely! It's a rather clueless statement...