Apple and Google join forces in $500 million-plus bid for Kodak patents

“Apple Inc. and Google Inc. have joined forces to offer more than $500 million to buy Eastman Kodak Co.’s patents out of bankruptcy, said two people with knowledge of the situation,” Serena Saitto, Beth Jinks and Brian Womack report for Bloomberg. “The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate consortia this summer to buy Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.”

“Unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralize potential infringement litigation. A group including Apple, Microsoft Corp. and Research in Motion Ltd. bought Nortel Networks Corp.’s more than 6,000 patents for $4.5 billion out of bankruptcy last year,” Saitto, Jinks and Womack report. “Google lost the auction for those patents after making an initial offer of $900 million.”

Saitto, Jinks and Womack report, “The Wall Street Journal previously reported that a consortium offered more than $500 million for Kodak’s digital patents. Kodak obtained commitments for $830 million exit financing last month, contingent on its sale of the digital imaging patents for at least $500 million.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: They should offer Apple pi.

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8 Comments

  1. So virtually the sum total of Kodak’s protected intellectual property is worth about half of Instagram.

    They invented consumer photography in the 19th century, and then re-invented it by leading the digital photography revolution in the 20th century, but couldn’t capitalize on it. In the end they were beaten by the phone companies and an app made by a few kids.

    1. Correction disposableidentity, Kodak built the first digital camera from instruction sets provided by Apple Computers for Apple under the brand name of Quicktake.
      http://lowendmac.com/ed/lebron/09ll/quicktake-150.html
      see also; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_QuickTake.
      That is why Kodak was unable to squeeze any cash from Apple for IP in a (thumbnails) lawsuit, this led them to having to take the bitter path of selling their IP in order to shut their doors with some cash in hand to start something else? Printers and printer inks perhaps?

          1. He’s right. The distinction is between digital photography, and consumer digital photography. Kodak was making digital imaging sensors and systems for the intelligence community, military, NASA and the medical imaging market way before anyone seriously thought of replacing film in the consumer market.

            1. @ disposableidentity, Of course he is right! That is why I said uranus THE PLANET!!!
              I have provided you and everyone else a citation and extract from the website below. Read the entire record.
              The work done there was as a result of developments in other fields, more like what IBM did in computing before Apple Computers created the first PC (personal computer). IBM thought no individual would ever afford a computer so struck off the possibility of PC’s. Kodak did the same with that first so called digital camera that was the size of a portable mobile TV press unit camera and iced it, no, killed it. There were TV cameras at the time only, they recorded moving images not stills & did not use CCD’s.
              Finally, the fact that Apple Computers created the first PC, is not to say that they created the hardware nor is it to say that they created the first software and they did not create the first integrated H/W & S/W because IBM were already doing that until they outsourced to Bill Gates. What they did do to the digital camera was the equivalent of the iPod to MP3 players or the iPad to netbooks.
              My comment above was sans the info below. At the time of writing I was thinking purely of what we now recognize today as a digital camera.

              Q: In the digital camera you have developed for Kodak you have used one of the first CCDs available from Fairchild Semiconductor – obviously they did not develop it especially for you – but since you have developed the first digital camera it’s a bit unclear what was the original market for those early CCD sensors (I am guessing Fairchild Semiconductor had no idea what you were doing with their sensor?)

              A: I believe the “ultimate” goal for the initial development of these devices was to replace the Vidicon tube for television cameras. These early devices found their first application in astronomical imaging because of their geometric stability and if the temperature were lowered (these applications allowed this) the noise performance could be improved. It was about 10 years later when Kodak first demonstrated megapixel sized imagers with color filter arrays that would be suitable for still consumer photography. To your last question, I had no direct contact with Fairchild after I purchased the initial devices for the project.

              Copied from Megapixel.co.

              Q: The original CCD invented in 1969 was B&W only – did the Fairchild Semiconductor sensor you have used was capable of producing color images and how did it do that (after all the Bayer filter was only patented in 1976)?

              Copied from: http://www.megapixel.co.il/english/archive/35884

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