Kodak Patents to Be Bought by Apple and Google
According to Bloomberg, "unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralize potential infringement litigation."
Richard Ehrlickman, former vice president of Intellectual Property at International Business Machines Corp, said, "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.”
Apple and Google previously led separate efforts to acquire Kodak's patents. The Apple-led group included Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, while Google’s partners included patent-aggregation company RPX Corp. and Asian makers of Google’s Android phones.
The two groups had separately offered less than $500 million for Kodak’s portfolio, and they are now teaming up in order to best the initial offers, says Bloomberg.
Though Google, Apple and Kodak declined to comment, because of confidentiality agreements, The Wall Street Journal reported that a consortium offered more than $500 million for Kodak’s digital patents, and that Kodak obtained commitments for $830 million exit financing last month.