Apple, Google Partner to Buy Kodak Patents

by Christopher Freeburn | December 10, 2012 9:57 am

business handshake 630 300x199 Apple, Google Partner to Buy Kodak Patents[1]Google (NASDAQ:GOOG[2]) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL[3]) are putting aside their differences over patent infringement issues to make a joint bid for 1,100 imaging technology patents[4] held by bankrupt Kodak (PINK:EKDKQ[5]).

Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that the two technology titans will partner on a $500 million bid for the fallen camera and film processing giant’s portfolio of patents for capturing, adjusting and sharing digital images.

Last year, Google failed in a $900 million bid to acquire more than 6,000 patents from bankrupt Nortel Networks. The Internet search giant was beat by a group of companies that included Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT[6]), Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM[7]) and Apple, which ultimately paid $4.5 billion for the Nortel patents.

By partnering with each other for the Kodak patents, Apple and Google reduce the chance of subsequent patent infringement litigation. Apple is currently suing a number of Google’s manufacturing partners — including Motorola Mobility[8], which Google acquired for $12.5 billion last year — over the alleged violation of its patents in Android-based mobile devices.

Kodak needs to sell its portfolio of digital patents for at least $500 million in order to emerge from bankruptcy early next year. Both Apple and Google have led previous bids for its imaging patent portfolio[9].

Spokespeople for both companies declined to respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment on the report.

Shares of Apple fell fractionally, while Google shares rose fractionally in Monday morning trading.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/business-handshake-630.jpg
  2. GOOG: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=GOOG
  3. AAPL: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=AAPL
  4. joint bid for 1,100 imaging technology patents: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-08/apple-joins-google-in-500-million-plus-bid-for-kodak-patents.html
  5. EKDKQ: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=EKDKQ
  6. MSFT: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=MSFT
  7. RIMM: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=RIMM
  8. including Motorola Mobility: http://investorplace.com/2012/04/apple-motorola-mobility-patent-war-escalates-into-eu-investigations-aapl-mmi-goog/
  9. previous bids for its imaging patent portfolio: http://investorplace.com/2012/09/kodaks-patents-will-stay-put-a-little-longer-ekdkq-sfly-goog-aap/

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