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Apple and Google low-ball Kodak in patent auction

Apple and Google low-ball Kodak in patent auction
Not a great Kodak moment

The great Kodak patent sell-off has begun but the firm's digital imaging patents have garnered disappointing opening bids.

Kodak reckons the intellectual property it is selling is worth around $2.6 billion (£1.7 billion) from over 1,100 patents.

So far, though, offers have come in well under that target amount, ranging between $150 million (£95.6m) and $250 million (£165m).

Patent wars

Both Google and Apple are reported to be bidding to bolster their existing patent armouries, with the latter apparently joining forces with well-known patent troll Intellectual Ventures.

Google is also said to have started working with a patent aggregator called RPX – no doubt Apple and Google will begin to push the price up in bids to stop the other getting their hands on the IP.

Everything comes from shady court reports, however, as a judge ruled that Kodak could keep details of the auction secret until a winner is announced.

Kodak is selling off most of its patents dedicated to how devices take, process, edit and share images; the beleaguered camera maker is trying to shuffle out of bankruptcy by making a comeback as a printer company.

From WSJ