Apple, Google Partner to Buy Kodak Patents

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

[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.

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  2. GOOG:
  3. AAPL:
  4. joint bid for 1,100 imaging technology patents:
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  6. MSFT:
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  8. including Motorola Mobility:
  9. previous bids for its imaging patent portfolio:

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