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$500m Kodak patent sale approved to Apple and Google

Kodak has had its patent sale ok'ed by a court judge in America, so it can sell to Apple and Google, among others.

A flurry of imaging patents are heading Apple and Google's way, now a judge has approved Kodak's $527 million deal with the two tech giants.

Bloomberg reports that US Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper has okay'ed the sale, allowing the former photography great to offload more than 1,000 of its patents.

Apple and Google joined forces after unsuccessfully vying for the patents separately.

Gropper gave the deal the green light in Manhattan, New York. The patents are worth far less than the $2 billion Kodak was originally asking for, or chancing its arm, depending on how you look at it. Gropper said Kodak was "disappointed" it couldn't charge its original price, but added, "We're moving the case forward, so we should be optimistic."

As well as Apple and Google, the group buying the patents includes Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, BlackBerry-maker RIM, and Samsung. So it's like a who's who of tech giants. Kodak filed for bankruptcy this time last year, and started the auction in August.

It's quite common for firms to team up with their rivals to buy out a bankrupt company's patents. Sharing patents will save them a lot of court time later on, so it's just easier for everyone, not to mention less expensive. Kodak's lawyers said the money it collects from the sale (estimated to be $525 million, so not sure who's pocketing the other $2 million) will give it some "patent peace". And that's something we could all do with more of in the tech world.

It's a shame to see Kodak go to the wall, but the 132-year-old company is just the latest in a litany of victims of the economic climate. Here's hoping its legacy can live on through its patents being incorporated into Apple and Google's smart phones of the future.

What new imaging features would you like to see in your handset? And should tech giants try a little harder to get on, instead of flinging muck in countless court cases? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.