Apple and Kodak have been battling it out over a couple of patents for a few weeks now, but from the sounds of it, Kodak keeps sneaking in small victories, and landing blow after blow throughout the court case. US Bankruptcy Judge, Allan Gropper, ruled in the favor of Kodak in two out of ten patent disputes so far. But, why is Apple fighting Kodak now that the company is heading down a direct path towards chapter eleven? Well, as it turns out, Kodak is putting its patent portfolio on the auction block tomorrow, and Google has already placed an opening bid.
According to The Wall Street Journal, both Apple and Google have offered bids somewhere between $150 and $250 million dollars:
[quote]Kodak received two bids from investor groups pitting Silicon Valley giants Apple Inc. and Google Inc. against each other ahead of an auction set for Wednesday, people familiar with the process said. The bids from the two teams came in around $150 million to $250 million, the people said.[/quote]
Kodak believes that the patents could fetch upwards of $2.6 billion dollars, helping them salvage the company a little before going full out bankrupt.
In hindsight, it’s pretty obvious at this point why Apple’s trying to gain ownership over some of the allegedly infringed patents by taking Kodak to court. If Google wins the auction, Apple could be without a couple of key patents that they believe they already own, and instead, the patents could be in the direct hands of a competitor.
This could get interesting.