– Apple and Google have come together and offered to buy 1100 imaging patents of Eastman Kodak for more than $500Mn after Kodak filed for bankruptcy according to two people, who wish to remain anonymous as the process is private.
– Partnerships to buy patents are common as chances for patent infringement related litigation from competitors is neutralized through them. An example of this trend is where Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion have formed a consortium to buy 6000 patents owned by Nortel Networks Corp. for $4.5Bn when the company went bankrupt. Google also made an offer of $900Mn for those patents initially.
– Two consortiums existed initially to compete for these patents one of whom is led by Apple with Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC as members this summer. The other consortium is led by Google with patent aggregation firm RPX Corp. and Asian manufacturers of Google’s Android Smartphone. However now both competitors Apple and Google have now joined hands and are bidding together to get these patents.
– Spokespersons of companies involved in the process like Niki Fenwick (Google), Christopher Veronda (Kodak) and Kristin Huguet (Apple) when asked by Bloomberg news, have declined to comment with Christopher Veronda mentioning the confidentiality agreement ordered by court.