Google, Apple to team up and buy Kodak patents, report says

The companies have reportedly formed a consortium, which includes Samsung and LG, to buy Kodak's patents and likely keep them out of any potential litigation.

Companies that seemingly hate each other in the mobile space are teaming up over Kodak's patents, a new report claims.

Over the last few days, Apple and Google have joined forces to bid on Kodak's patent portfolio, The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing unnamed sources. Perhaps even more strange, the Journal claims that the consortium includes Samsung, Apple's arch-nemesis.

Kodak put its patents up for sale as part of a bankruptcy filing. According to earlier reports, Apple and Google had formed their own consortium to acquire the patents and bid around $150 million to $250 million for them. However, Kodak, which had hoped to raise more than $2 billion from the sale, announced earlier this week that it was delaying the announcement of a winner. In a recent statement to CNET, the company added that it might not even sell the patents at all .

Apple iPhone 4S - 64GB - black (AT&T)

"The company reiterates that it has not reached a determination or agreement to sell the digital imaging patent portfolio, and may retain all or parts of it as a source of creditor recoveries in lieu of a sale if it concludes that doing so is in the best interests of the estate," a Kodak spokesperson wrote in the statement.

According to the Journal, the newly formed consortium led by Apple and Google is willing to put up more than $500 million for the patents. If Kodak accepts the deal, the companies would share ownership and effectively eliminate chances of being sued by any other participants in the agreement.

The mobile market is being slammed with patent-infringement lawsuits. Apple has taken aim at a host of Android vendors, most notably Samsung. Meanwhile, Samsung has returned the favor with patent-infringement claims against Apple. The companies are currently locked in a trial that could deliver the first notable victory for either side.

Given that, it might seem rather odd that they would all team up for Kodak patents. However, the sheer number of lawsuits might have made them weary of more litigation. And perhaps the best way to defend themselves is to partner with the enemy.

CNET has contacted Kodak, Apple, Google, and other companies reportedly included in the consortium. We will update this story when we have more information.

 

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