Surprise! Apple and Google Partners To Bid For Kodak Patents
Bangalore: They may be archrivals; they may attack each other for nearly no reason; they build products that try to kill each other; but apparently, in a deal that surprised millions, Apple and Google have partnered to purchase Kodak’s bundle of 1,100 imaging patents.
According to Bloomberg, the two companies, who initially lead separate groups to buy these patents, are now jointly offering more than $500 million. Apple was initially holding Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures by its side while Google held a group of Asian manufacturers of Android Smartphones and RPX, a group which specializes on patent trolls. However, both Google and Apple later decided to access the patents together, on both company’s best interests.
Kodak’s patents for sale relate to the capture, manipulation and sharing of digital images. The company is selling them to fund a turnaround after seeking Chapter 11 protection in January.
Last year, in a similar auction for more than 6,000 patents of the bankrupted Nortel Networks Corp., Google had lost to a Group lead by Apple, Microsoft and Research In Motion. Google made an initial offer of $900 million, but the other group offered more than $4.5 billion.
“Apple and Google learned a lesson from the Nortel’s auction. They have decided to come together in this process to reduce the cost of purchasing the Kodak patents, while meeting their business needs,” said Richard Ehrlickman, former VP of Intellectual Property at IBM.
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