back to article Apple and Google go head-to-head over Kodak patent sale

Apple and Google have joined rival investor groups hoping to bag Kodak's 1,100-strong patent portfolio. The groups are offering warm-up bids of between $150m and $250m – though Kodak reckons the patents could eventually haul in up to $2.6bn. Apple is part of a group that includes Microsoft and patent aggregation firm …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets hope Apple get bitten.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Let's hope not!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        copying my handle? You work for Apple then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yet another.....

      YET Another opportunity

      For the android fan base to scream and shout like children in a nursery.

      Actually that statement is insulting to very young children who do not have much control over their emotional responses.

      At least they have an excuse, the Fandroids have none.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yet another.....

        another COWARD slating android users.

      2. Chris Parsons

        Re: Yet another.....

        I think you said that before.

    3. a_been

      Given that Kodak have tried and failed to sue Apple and RIM I doubt Apple will get bitten. I also doubt those. patents are worth anything near what Kodak said they were worth. They are probably worth most to HTC and LG as those companies agreed to pay a licence to Kodak for patents Apple and RIM later proved to be invalid.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh god please

    please let Google win this. I don't want to see crApple and Micro$oft launching a torrent of lawsuits against every android handset for infringing on their patents.

    Although if google do win, I can see apple attempting to sue them for purchasing a patent 'belonging' to apple.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: oh god please

      There are always winners and losers in anything involving patents.

      Ultimately, even in the event of temporary legal setbacks, neither Apple or Google will be the losers. That's where you and I and the rest of us come in.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: oh god please

      So Google doing it would be just as nice would it?

      How about nobody buys them and people can get back to competing.

  3. hexx

    lets hope apple wins (please down-vote at will :) )

    1. wowfood

      I may be anti-apple, but like hell I'm downvoting an apple supporter because they asked me to

      *clicks thumbs up*

  4. CollyWolly

    Apple through the years

    Computer company -> fashion company -> litigation company

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear USA

    Once this auction has completed and the winner has spent billions of dollars, please void all software patents.


    Anyone who fancies a good laugh

    1. Ru

      Re: Dear USA

      I'd actually assume that many (perhaps most, if not all) patents here may actually be physical things or hardware implementations of more general techniques.

      But its okay, because the US patent system does not restrict obviousness and frivolity to software patents alone.

      1. Big_Ted

        Re: Dear USA

        No there are some that if blocked would cause problems for every device out ther, just one "Kodak is trying to recover what it claims are lost revenues from illegal use of patent '218, a patent used in previewing digital pictures, which the firm says amounts to around $1bn (£643m)."

        There are around 700 patents for digital imaginging as well.

  6. Steve Todd

    Do all the Fandroids not remember the Nortel patent auction?

    Apple was part of the winning consortium there, and I don't remember seeing any news of Apple suing companies over them since. Try to keep your paranoia down to a dull roar will you

  7. Camilla Smythe

    Have I Fixed It?

    Intellectual Ventures Management.

    Intellectual Vultures Management.

    1. Matthew 25

      Re: Have I Fixed It?

      Intellectual Vultures Management.

      Isn't that the company that runs The Reg(r)

  8. Big_Ted

    My dream outcome......

    Google win and incoporate all the patents into Android as standards for it.

    They then go to Apple and tell them that they will charge them what they will charge if they win the court case against Samsung or maybe say 10% more.

    They also tell MS that if they will charge do same for those patents MS are using against Android phones etc.

    Maybe this would help to cut out a load of the stupid cases going on at the moment.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IP should die with the company

    IP and patents should die with the company that they belong to and the ideas become public domain.

    After all what does a dead company need with such protection?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IP should die with the company

      In this case though, Kodak isn't "dead", it's dying on its arse but not quite dead yet.

      They're hoping the windfall will help the company get back on its feet again and those responsible for sinking it in the first place will get a second bite at the cherry...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: IP should die with the company

        "In this case though, Kodak isn't "dead", it's dying on its arse but not quite dead yet."

        Beautiful plumage though!

        Mines the one with the pieces o'eight in the pocket. Arrrrr!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Dear USA

    Actually Kodak have some patents which are likely unrelated to photography, even digital photography.

    A few years back, Sun had to settle with Kodak for an undisclosed sum for something pretty basic which Java was (allegedly) infringing upon...

  12. Mad yakker

    Patent wars

    Pretty soon we'll all be eating at Taco Bell.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Patent wars

      Where is that on the Donna van Little Chef scale?

      (We're metric over here you know.)

    2. Pooka

      Re: Patent wars

      Rat burger? Best burger I've had in years....

  13. Wrecked

    Reminds me of the tagline from the first Alien vs Predator movie... "Whoever wins, we lose"

  14. Tom 7

    I predict a power of 2

    or similar scientifically related bid from Google which Apple will outbid

    Google will then spend a couple of million presenting prior art to a court case to get them all invalidated.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Somehow it's fitting...

    that Apple is partnering with IV and Google/Samsung is partnering with RPX. IV and RPX are both evil patent trolls, but IV invented the evil patent troll business model, RPX slavishly copied it!

    1. a_been

      Re: Somehow it's fitting...

      and Google are an investor in IV so they win either way

  16. asdf

    Its 476 in Western civ again

    When legal documents (patents, derivatives) are worth more than any physical product you could create you know you're culture has a serious problem.

  17. rmiller

    The Real Meat of the Portfolio: OLED Patents

    Kodak has historically owned many of the most fundamental patents to OLED based technology. This has long been a bane to commercial development, and it is the reason why so much of the development that surrounds the entire field of organic conductors and semiconductors (OLED, solar cells, etc.) has been done academically (where the patents don't apply with the same power).'

    It is well known and well documented in many editorials and textbooks that discuss the subject of organic conductors.

    they not only own formula patents on particular materials, but also process patents for manufacturing techniques.

    While commercial OLED may be relatively new, the fundamental technology behind it has been studied extensively since at least the 1990s. Only recently have the manufacturing problems been worked out (primarily by Samsung), so that they can be delivered as handsets to millions of people worldwide.

    Buying Kodak's portfolio would effectively solidify Samsungs already major lead in this particular field of technology, and I would expect them to make one of the larger pushes to buy it up.

    Apple and LG will probably counter. Apple wants to limit Samsung's power and reign in on their smartphone's hardware dominance, while LG wants to muscle their way into the OLED field (as evidenced by their offerings at this years CES)

    Samsung already owns many of the most important patents related to OLED, which is why they are the ONLY company that makes high resolution OLED displays. OLED is actually quite common, but the majority of it is used in things like Casio watches, oven-displays, and generally as replacements for low resolution TFT readouts of the past.

    Samsung owns the crucial manufacturing patents for the technology that has only been realized in the past 5 years. Before that time, manufacturing large high resolution OLED displays that could be use with frame rates relevant for displaying film or TV was a painstaking process that would occupy the majority of the top-level R&D lab of a major electronics manufacturer for 6 months at a time.

    Sony once tried it as essentially a publicity stunt, selling the displays at a massive loss (15" non-HD display for $2,000 MSRP, and they only sold a few thousand globally).

    since then Sony has never even attempted a true foray into the field.

    Samsung, and now LG, are the only companies making any real attempts at OLED for the commercial display sector. Phones already use AMOLED screens and Samsung sells these screens to a variety of other hardware makers.

    Samsung and LG have both promised OLED based television sets in Q4 of 2012 (yeah right) but expect them within 2 years.

    Apple WANTED to put the OLED screens in multiple generations of the iPhone, but Samsung could never guarantee the necessary supply chain for Apple's needs, so Apple instead went with a traditional LCD based technology.

    Those 3 companies will try the hardest for this portfolio for this reason only.

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