Google and Apple are usually in court to battle one another over patent infringements, however this week the two tech giants have announced a partnership aimed as securing the rights to Kodak’s vast library of technology patents. According to various reports the company’s will team up to offer $500 million for 1,100 Kodak digital imaging patents.
Apple and Google have reportedly also signed on HTC, Samsung and Microsoft among other company’s with interest in the Kodak patents portfolio.
By teaming up to secure a strong patent portfolio all company’s involved could buy off the chance of future litigation for violating the soon to be purchased patent library.
Kodak recently predicted that it would receive $2.5 billion for its patent portfolio, a number that was quickly dismissed when zero company’s showed interest in the high cost of acquisition.
The former photo and digital imaging giant needs to collect at least $500 million if it hopes to cover nearly $800 million in loans it currently owes to various debtors.
In some cases the very patents being sought were used by Kodak against members of the consortium in the past. Apple has even went so far as to sue Kodak, claiming that Apple owned or co-owned some of the patents that it developed in co-operation with Kodak. Apple and Kodak collaborated on the QuickTake digital camera back in the 1990s. Apple failed to prove its case and lost its claim to ownership of certain patents, a decision the company is still appealing.
Should Kodak ultimately sell its $500 million patent portfolio to Google and Apple the company could find itself emerging from bankruptcy in 2013 and then re-entering the market with a focus on commercial imaging. Much of Kodak’s efforts could be focused on restoring old film such as commercial movies that were filmed on 8 and 16mm film.
Do you think Google and Apple have made the right decision in security their futures against Kodak patent based lawsuits?
[Image via ubergizmo]