Apple and Google team up to bid on Kodak patents

Jeremiah Yap – Fourth Estate Cooperative Writer

San Francisco, CA, United States (4E) – Apple and Google, two of the biggest names in technology, are working together to acquire Kodak’s digital patents. The two companies are the biggest smartphone players — Apple with its popular iPhone and Google with its dominant mobile OS Android — and have targeted Kodak’s patents for utilization with their products.

It may seem odd that two competitors team up, but this is accepted practice in the patent buying business.

Last year, Microsoft, Apple and Research in Motion led a group which successfully bid on and won 6,000 patents owned by Nortel Networks Corp. worth $4.5 billion. The group competed against Google.

During the summer Apple and Google engaged in a separate patent war also involving Kodak. Apple led a group with Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management, while Google led patent firm RP Corp.

The Apple and Google-led partnership have offered $500 million for the digital patents up for bid by Kodak. Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection in the beginning of the year.

Selling patents is what will pull Kodak out of bankruptcy and avoiding a dragged out patent dispute between Apple and Google is better for the tech industry.

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