Eastman Kodak Co., once a booming photography company, is filing for bankruptcy. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, Kodak is sell 1,100 patents it owns. On Monday these patents will go on auction. Seeing as Kodak has a rich history in photography, it is without a doubt Kodak’s patents can be lucrative in a smartphone market where photo and video taking capabilities are a must in every device. So it isn’t surprising big players are fighting for these patents.
Google is teaming up with Samsung, HTC, and LG (major Android OEMs) to attempt to win these patents. Going up against Team Android is Team Android Competition, otherwise known as Apple and Microsoft. Apple and Microsoft have joined forces to bid together and win Kodak patents, which will obviously be available to both companies if they win. As an added partner, Team Micro-ple has Intellectual Ventures while Team Android has RPX Corporation, both of which are “patent holding companies” (i.e. patent trolls).
Apple and Microsoft have teamed up in the past to buy patents of bankrupt companies but Google is typically a loner. However, it appears Google has learned its lesson from the failure to solely acquire Nortel patents last year (the patents went to a consortium that included Apple, Microsoft, and other companies) and has decided to bring along its partners this time around. Let’s see what happens come Monday.