Apple, Google And Microsoft All Keen For Kodak Patents
Apple and Microsoft will be fighting an Android army for Kodak’s patents
Apple and Microsoft are set to team up to fight Google for Kodak patents, as the photographic company pulls out of the digital and pocket video camera markets.
Google will be teaming with makers of Android smartphones, including Samsung, LG and HTC, as well as patent aggregation firm RPX, according to people familiar with the matter, cited by the Wall Street Journal.
The sources said Apple and Microsoft have formed a partnership with another patent aggregation company, Intellectual Ventures Management, to bid for the Kodak patents, which the photographic firm claimed are worth $2.6 billion.
It wasn’t long ago that a similar battle was waged over Nortel Networks patents. A consortium that included Apple and Microsoft won that round, but Google could benefit from the backing of its Android partners this time.
The auction is set to go ahead on 8 August, with patents to be sold in two lots. One will focus on how images are captured and processed on cameras, smartphones and tablets. The second will be related to storing and analysing images, amongst other technologies.
Back in January, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the hope of salvaging the 120 year old company. It hoped that it would be given time to refocus the business and sell off “non-core IP assets”.
The company has also sought to gain funds by fighting its own patent lawsuits. It has filed a number of complaints against Apple, HTC and RIM. But earlier this month, it lost a case against Apple and RIM, having appealed against a decision handed down by the US International Trade Commission from May.
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