“Battle lines are forming in Eastman Kodak Co.’s patent sale ahead of Monday’s initial bid deadline,” Ashby Jones, Dana Mattioli and Mike Spector report for The Wall Street Journal.

“At least two groups are expected to bid on Kodak’s trove of 1,100 patents, with a bevy of technology and patent heavyweights picking sides and competing for the patents, said people familiar with the matter,” Jones, Mattioli and Spector report. “Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, a patent aggregation firm, are teaming to form one bidding group, the people said. The other consortium includes Google Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc., HTC Corp. and another patent aggregation firm, RPX Corp., the people said.”

Jones, Mattioli and Spector report, “The people familiar with the discussions cautioned that work on bids could continue over the weekend, with alliances changing and other bidders potentially emerging… A bankruptcy court supervised auction of Kodak’s patents is set for Aug. 8. The patents are being sold in two lots: the digital capture portfolio related to capturing and processing images on cameras, smartphones and tablets; and the Kodak Imaging Systems and Services patents related to storing and analyzing images, among other things. Suitors view the digital capture trove as the most valuable… Kodak has said both lots of patents could be worth up to $2.6 billion combined. Others with knowledge of the portfolios said that initial bids are unlikely to approach that figure.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Cupertino Colossus and their new little buddy vs. the Axis of Do Know Evil. Sounds like lots of fun ahead.

We await Google’s bid of Euler’s number with bated breath.

If Google loses this one, too, will they send out their head ambulance chaser to whine about how all patents (except Googles, of course) should be washed clean in unicorn tears and then contributed to some sort of giant tech commune?

Related articles:
US Department of Justice approves Nortel patents purchase by Apple-led ‘Rockstar Consortium’ – March 12, 2012
Why Google lashed out at Apple and Microsoft over patents: Android is in deep trouble and its top lawyer knows it – August 4, 2011
Google legal honcho: Apple, Oracle, Microsoft use ‘bogus patents’ to wage hostile campaign against sainted Android – August 3, 2011
Google’s Schmidt: Apple not responding with innovation, they’re responding with lawsuits – July 19, 2011
In wake of Nortel patent auction loss, Google general counsel calls for patent reform – July 26, 2011
Apple paying more than half $4.5 billion price tag on Nortel patent trove – July 22, 2011
Apple, Google gird for bidding war over InterDigital patent trove – July 20, 2011
U.S. and Canadian courts approve sale of Nortel patent trove to Apple-led ‘Rockstar’ consortium – July 11, 2011
How Apple led the high-stakes Nortel patent win against Google, sealing Ballmer’s promise – July 10, 2011
Google’s Schmidt worried and disappointed over Apple consortium’s Nortel patent win – July 8, 2011
RUMOR: Apple gets outright ownership of Nortel’s LTE (4G) patents – July 5, 2011
Google’s Android intellectual property headache looks set to become a migraine – July 5, 2011
Leaked bids show how Apple-led ‘Rockstar’ beat Google to Nortel patents – July 2, 2011
Apple consortium wins $4.5 billion Nortel patent trove auction; Google, Intel lose bidding battle – July 1, 2011
Intel gets antitrust approval to bid on Nortel patents – June 24, 2011
Apple gets U.S. antitrust approval to bid for Nortel patent trove – June 23, 2011
Apple, Intel among bidders for Nortel patent trove – June 17, 2011
Nortel delays patent auction one week citing significant interest – June 16, 2011
RIM looks to outbid Apple, Google, and Nokia for Nortel’s patent treasure trove – April 18, 2011
Google bids $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents in quest to boost patent portfolio – April 4, 2011
Apple reportedly bidding for Nortel patent portfolio – December 13, 2010