Apple And Google Reportedly Form An Alliance To Buy Kodak Patents

Apple and Google reportedly set aside their differences and formed an alliance in order to purchase the 1,100 imaging patents owned by Kodak.

The companies have made a joint bid of more than $500 million in order to secure those patents.

Eastman Kodak had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in January, and are selling their patents in order to help pay for their $950 million loan from Citigroup.

In the summer, Apple’s consortium in securing Kodak’s patents included Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC. while Google’s consortium included patent aggregation firm RPX Corp as well as the Asian manufacturers who produce Google’s Android phones. Now the two have joined directly with each other to make sure that their bid is sound.

It’s not surprising that these partnerships are made during patent sales. By securing these patents, the companies can neutralize the potential of infringement litigation.

In July of 2011, Apple and Google were bidding against each other on Nortel Networks Corp.’s 6000+ patents, which included patents and patent applications for wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, voice, optical, semiconductor technologies, and internet, when the company went bankrupt. Apple formed a consortium  with EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research in Motion, and Sony while Google formed a consortium with Intel. Apple’s consortium came out on top with a bid of $4.5 billion which beat out Google and Intel’s earlier bid of $900 million.

If Google and Apple succeed in purchasing the Kodak patents, they will have access to digital imaging patents pertaining to cameras, smartphones, and other devices that would be extremely beneficial to both companies. This way both companies can avoid many potential lawsuits in the future, such as Apple’s infamous lawsuit with Samsung.

Kodak is hoping to exit out of bankruptcy within the first half of 2013.

CNET & The Verge via Bloomberg

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