Poor Kodak thought it would earn heaps by selling off its patents – as much as $2.6 billion – but two of the most interested parties do not appear to be very interested at all.
Apple and Google have both reportedly placed bids with the troubled camera maker, but whisperings to the press have suggested that just two bids have been placed so far, and the highest is said to be $250 million. This for 1,100 digital imaging patents.
The FT and the WSJ are both reporting that Apple joint forces with patent troll accumulator Intellectual Ventures, reports the BBC, while Google may have teamed up with “patent aggregator” RPX. Both are said to have experience in handling patent disputes in the courts, a bit like Apple. And Google.
Kodak said in a statement that the nuances of the auction process is “confidential pursuant to an order of the Bankruptcy Court”.
“Disclosure of submitted bids or the identity of bidders would violate the court’s order and Kodak believes that speculation about the details and potential outcome of the auction is inappropriate,” it said, as it would, especially if the bids are as low as the press claims.
It would not be much of a surprise if both Google and Apple were chucking pennies at Kodak’s figurative feet. Although the bids seem to be as contested as a controversial Olympic badminton match, any company these days could always do with a thousand more obscure patents for their lawyers to make complaints about in a certain Texan court.