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Google, Apple to acquire Kodak Imaging Patents via merger

Two giant tech firms, Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are reportedly closing a merger deal in a bid to purchase more than $500 million worth of Eastman Kodak Company’s imaging patents.

An unknown source disclosed that out of bankruptcy, the American multinational imaging and photographic services company, commonly known as Kodak  has decided to sell 1,100 imaging patents worth $500 million plus.

Kodak is also reportedly planning to lessen the scope of its business and focus more other aspects particularly on enterprise services, as well as commercial, packaging and functional printing rather than photography. Besides attenuating the company, Kodak is also trying to fund a reversal after demanding Chapter 11 protection in January. Selling some of its imaging patents will likely generate a huge amount of money for the company to deal with its financial matters.

Seeing this opportunity drives the two competing firms in the smartphone market to put together conglomerates this summer. But they ended up inking a partnership deal to place a higher bid for the acquisition of over a thousand imaging patents by the 132-year-old photography company.

According to relevant reports, as of July, Apple has led a group comprising of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, in an attempt to acquire Kodak’s patents. Google, on the other hand, has led a separate cluster involving the patent-aggregation firm RPX Corp. and Asian makers of Google Android smartphones. Both groups bid for Kodak’s patents with less than $500 million. But according to a source, the two companies finally decided to team up to offer more to Kodak.

Earlier reports indicate that Kodak has obtained pledges for $830 million exit funding in November of this year. The company is also reliant on its digital-imaging patents auction for at least $500 million.

Kodak in its court documents said the patents may be worth $2.21 billion to $2.57 billion, according to an initial report by Bloomberg. These figures are based on an appraisal by a patent advisory company 284 Partners LLC. By accrediting some of its digital-imaging patents to users like LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Google’s Motorola Mobility and Nokia Oyj, Kodak has produced over $3 billion worth of profit.

The imaging patents that Google and Apple are planning to purchase from Kodak are the same patents subject of a legal complaint, where the Rochester, New York-based Kodak sued Apple for allegedly trying to block the deal. These patents for sale are also relevant to the management, capture and distribution of digital images.

Either company (Google and Apple) has not uttered any comment on patent sales rumors, though. A spokesman for Eastman Kodak Company, Christopher Veronda also cited a court-ordered confidentiality agreement that prohibits them from uttering any comment relevant to the patent deal.

Source: Phone Arena