Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are pitted against each other in making initial bids for Eastman Kodak’s patent portfolio. Apple is pairing up with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intellectual Ventures Management, while the opposing group includes Google, Samsung, LG Electronics, HTC, and RPX Corp, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Kodak says the 1,100 patents could be worth up to $2.6 billion and are related to cameras functions central to smartphones and tablets. The August 8 auction will include two separate portfolios: one related to capturing and processing images on cameras, smartphones and tablets, and the other related to storing and analyzing images. Kodak, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, is hoping to use the sail to reorganize in bankruptcy court and reemerge as a viable company.
However, the International Trade Commission last week ruled invalid one of Kodak’s most valuable patents, which was related to image previews on digital cameras, in a lawsuit where the photography company had sued Apple and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).
The competition between Apple and Google mirrors the one they have in the smartphone and tablet market. Google’s group includes handset makers that use its Android operating system, while the founder of patent aggregation firm Intellectual Ventures formerly worked at Microsoft. Last year, Apple and Google had faced each other in a battle over patents being sold by telecom equipment company Nortel Networks, with the group including the iPhone maker and Microsoft making the winning bid of $4.5 billion.
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