When patents are involved, Google and Apple are willing to work together.
In the name of business, your enemy today might be your friend tomorrow, if you both can work out a mutually beneficial deal. In line with this, Google and Apple — supposedly arch-rivals in the mobile operating system field — are teaming up to secure a big patent portfolio that Kodak is setting up for grabs.
So far, Kodak hasn’t done as well as it hoped to with the sale of its patent portfolio. Now the company, which filed for bankruptcy in January of this year, is saying that it may form a licensing company if it doesn’t sell its patents.
Technology companies are trying to avoid aggressively bidding for Eastman Kodak’s imaging-related patents. Google, Apple, Samsung and other firms in the smartphone business are likely to form a consortium or partnership in an effort to keep the price down.
Going … going … gone? Not yet, it seems. Eastman Kodak has decided to extend its patent auction to give more time for the company to decide on bids. Whichever company will successfully acquire the patents will find itself a valuable asset, with intellectual property increasingly becoming strategic in terms of profitability.
WSJ reported yesterday that Kodak’s upcoming patent auction already has 2 bidders: Google and Apple, and each has bids between $150 million and $250 million so far. Kodak, however, is expecting up to $2.6 billion for its 1,100 digital patents to pay off its creditors. This may be wishful thinking for Kodak, but who knows how fast the bids will escalate with Apple in there. Apple doesn’t really care about the money they have to spend, so they will try to at least raise the cost for Google as much as possible provided Google does retain them eventually. The two companies are…
The patent arms race is reaching a feeding-frenzy stage. Over the past months, we’ve witnessed a series of high profile legal spats between the technology companies that make our beloved gadgets. A quick recap of the most visible battles includes the Oracle vs Google trial, the Samsung vs Apple global conflagration, the Microsoft vs Motorola case that caused the ban of all Motorola devices in Germany, and the Apple vs HTC debacle, which affected the availability of the One X and the EVO 4G LTE in the USA. Tech corporations are suing each other like madmen, but unfortunately, their actions…