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Apple and Google teaming up to buy Kodak patents

By dpreview staff on Dec 10, 2012 at 17:44 GMT

Financial news service Bloomberg is reporting Apple and Google are working together to purchase some of Kodak's imaging patents. The companies are said to be working together - lending more weight to reports in the Wall Street Journal from back in August. The story suggests the two companies, along with the groups of smaller companies with whom they'd been preparing bids, will offer more than $500m for the patents. Such a figure would give Kodak access to $830m of external funding that is dependent on the value of the patent deal.

Even if this extra line of credit does allow Kodak to emerge from the bankruptcy protection process, the company will no longer include any of its consumer-facing operations, having sold and closed them over the past few months.

Comments

Total comments: 42
Helenaj
By Helenaj (Jan 15, 2013)

You are a rude and disrespectful person !

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Dec 12, 2012)

I guess this means all of Kodak's film products are going away soon...

Pro Image, Ektar, Portra... to follow Kodachrome... this is sad. I wish Apple or Google can keep them somehow in production.

0 upvotes
Blackbear
By Blackbear (Jan 4, 2013)

Kodak announced a few years ago that they would end film production.
Wheather bankrupt or not, filmproduction would have been ended by now.
Maybe Fuji will be the last one to produce film?
Google and Apple are just interested in technology patents, not to keep on producing film. However sad this me be, it's the reality of today.

0 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (Dec 12, 2012)

Ahh, must be what Google is doing with the corporation tax money it is cynically avoiding to pay on profits of it's UK operations!

1 upvote
Spectro
By Spectro (Dec 12, 2012)

kodak owns the patent for pretty much all of the digital camera technology, the digital sensor, bayer filter.. What is apple and Google going to do with those patents, charge Nikon, canon more or what?

0 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Dec 11, 2012)

Just assets of a failed business model. Feel sad for all the people who lost jobs at Kodak.

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Dec 11, 2012)

$500 million for Kodak’s patent portfolio . They often pay this type of money for a couple of crappy start ups. The word carpetbagger comes to mind.

1 upvote
Sergio Rojkes
By Sergio Rojkes (Dec 11, 2012)

I tought Apple and Google...maps...
No I dont get it anymore.

0 upvotes
snegron
By snegron (Dec 11, 2012)

Great. It would have been nice to see Kodak R.I.P. with dignity. Instead, we will now most likely have to witness Apple and Google turn the Kodak name into a mediocre teenage social media novelty. How sad.

6 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Dec 10, 2012)

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Dec 10, 2012)

As long as they us these patents for innovation....I think this could be a good thing.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 10, 2012)

Google® Tri-X®

Apple® Ektachrome®

iFilm®

iEasyshare®

Google®Brownie®

The Apple-Google® Theater® Hollywood®

.

7 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Dec 10, 2012)

Google tri x sounds good to me!

0 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (Dec 11, 2012)

This has nothing to do with the film business. Movie film stays with Kodak, the consumer film is going to a new, as yet unannounced, home.

It's unfortunate that the film business is splitting, the reason we have Portra 400 is because of the advances in movie film. <sigh>

0 upvotes
FRANCISCO ARAGAO
By FRANCISCO ARAGAO (Dec 10, 2012)

Wow, Apple "buying" patents!
Now this is new!

7 upvotes
wy2lam
By wy2lam (Dec 11, 2012)

Certainly not new: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=apple+nortel

0 upvotes
CasperCaspe
By CasperCaspe (Dec 11, 2012)

I think Apple or Google buying patents are quite common.. Many US companies do live with that. But if someone tell you that Samsung willing to pay for patents they used, then it's more like the sun rising from the west.

2 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (Dec 14, 2012)

iNaccurate, unless you count rectangles with rounded corners and THAT will soon be watered down, or maybe even overturned ....

Samsung buy (and have) real patents.

0 upvotes
Glen Barrington
By Glen Barrington (Dec 10, 2012)

I don't think there is any mention of the logo or the company outright, just the patents. This isn't the Motorola deal.

And it's bigger than many of you seem to think. Kodak practically invented digital photography, many of their patents make up the base level of technology. And none of it (digital photography) has passed into the public domain. It is likely that the new owners would be able to collect royalties from just about everyone involved in capturing and displaying photographs.

And let's be honest. If Apple and Google team up to buy them, there aren't many who could outbid them, and given their litigious nature, I suspect the partnership WOULD be smart enough to enforce their patent rights.

Kodak may well end up like Polaroid, but I doubt it will be because of the Apple/Google consortium.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Dec 10, 2012)

This is one of the worst sides of patents. Companies acquiring patents in order to collect royalties. This should not be allowed. Its an anomaly.

2 upvotes
tirmite
By tirmite (Dec 11, 2012)

What a stupid comment. Are you suggesting NO ONE should own patents? Someone (a person or company) invested time, energy, money into developing an idea or concept and they deserve ownership. If they then want to sell that, it's their right to do so.
Just like copyrights and trademarks.
How about I get to own all the photos you've ever taken, just because I say YOU shouldn't be allowed to owned the art you've created. Think before you mouth off.

2 upvotes
tlinn
By tlinn (Dec 11, 2012)

I certainly agree with your sentiments, tirmite, if not the very rude way you expressed them. The problem is the U.S. patent system and the fact that it allows you to patent not only innovative ideas but obvious ideas that have occurred to all of us at one time or another—stuff that can be described as anything but innovation.

2 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (Dec 11, 2012)

You need a course in reading comprehension tirmite, and the world of IP is far from a simple mine/yours scenario, but that would take patience and depth to understand.

0 upvotes
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (Dec 13, 2012)

@tirmite,

You fail at reading comprehension. Roland Karlsson said NOTHING about "NO ONE should own patents".

He clearly said "Companies acquiring patents in order to COLLECT ROYALTIES".

0 upvotes
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (Dec 13, 2012)

@tirmite,

You fail at reading comprehension. Roland Karlsson said NOTHING about "NO ONE should own patents".

He clearly said "Companies acquiring patents in order to COLLECT ROYALTIES".

0 upvotes
mr.izo
By mr.izo (Dec 10, 2012)

omg, apple, google.
kodak, rip (2x). at least for film..

0 upvotes
BigBen08
By BigBen08 (Dec 10, 2012)

C'mon Apple, bring back the Kodak Instamatic.

1 upvote
corbus
By corbus (Dec 10, 2012)

Is the legendary product name (Kodak) and logo actually worth anything today?

I can't find any compulsion for these anymore - probably together with lots of (hundred millions) other old film customers...

The only place I still use Kodak products is in my personell historical camera museum. That is of course necessary to explain for my grandchildren how images was recorded in cameras and produced in darkrooms during the old days...

0 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (Dec 10, 2012)

Well, one day, someone will license the Kodak name and logo to some Chinese company making cheap, mediocre cameras, etc. Just as GE and Polaroid have done. Otherwise no value, except for its patents.

0 upvotes
cordellwillis
By cordellwillis (Dec 10, 2012)

On the surface consumers never know or understand the value of a company. Unless you are an investor or within an industry 'in the know' most consumers don't know. Kodak has tons of value beyond what you or I will ever see on a shelf or available on the internet. This is true for most companies.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Dec 11, 2012)

Those cheap, terrible GE cameras of a few years ago were actually engineered by the GE imaging division and were a real GE product. Built by some Chinese company, probably, but so are Apple products. When I first saw them I also thought they had just sold the name, as they have in the past, but then I looked into it further and realized even a company with the technical resources of GE couldn't just decide to make a better camera and have it be true. A shame, as I'm sure their imaging people make some serious hardware for the military.

0 upvotes
giuliocroce
By giuliocroce (Dec 11, 2012)

They were not. A fully independent California company simply licensed the name. And by the way, even GE name and legacy is perceived in quite different ways depending on where you live: in Europe, GE means (and only for engineers) large power plants and gas turbines, in North America it probably means (for everybody) home appliances.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camera-reviews/ge/#b

0 upvotes
Horshack
By Horshack (Dec 10, 2012)

Apple is the last company I want to see acquiring more patents. They've demonstrated their proclivity for abusing the patent system with their ridiculous suits against Samsung. If they're willing to suppress competition with the trivial design patents they already have there's no telling what they'll do when they get hold of patents with actual substance.

5 upvotes
CasperCaspe
By CasperCaspe (Dec 11, 2012)

Apple use and paid for that.. The clock logo using in their new iPad is a recent news. Samsung however want to use but don't like to pay..

0 upvotes
jdkchem
By jdkchem (Dec 12, 2012)

Hence the word trivial.

0 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Dec 10, 2012)

I hope it means someone will start manufacturing rear mounted wideangle converters - apparently a Kodak patent that never resulted in any actual product.

It would enable the use of full frame lenses on APS-C cameras with no crop factor. In fact, with the proper converter, it would be possible to use full frame lenses on, say, the Nikon 1 series or other small sensor formats.

Contrary to teleconverters, it would actually gain one or more f-stops, light being concentrated over a smaller area.

3 upvotes
jonas ar
By jonas ar (Dec 12, 2012)

I believe the patent covers focal reducers in systems with a mirror in the light path. Iow, I suppose such converters could be build for mirrorless systems without violating the patent? Seems like such an obvious idea.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Dec 10, 2012)

Patent vultures! Personally I think patents shall be made void when the owner of the patents go bankruptcy. Patents are for protecting the company's production. The only valid takeover of patents should be if you buy a company to continue the production.

5 upvotes
Donnie G
By Donnie G (Dec 10, 2012)

It's a win win for all parties concerned. Although it also means we'll see the Kodak logo plastered onto even more third party produced crap than it is now, even though the company will officially be out of the consumer market. The Kodak name is still a designer label among the cheap and disposable crowd.

0 upvotes
cordellwillis
By cordellwillis (Dec 10, 2012)

A patent has nothing to do with seeing the logo. The use of a logo is completely different (a logo falls under Goodwill...not a tangible asset but certainly can be very valuable). There are thousands of patents that are bought and sold every day. Look at it as the sell of a product (tech, design, chemistry formula, etc)

2 upvotes
signapack
By signapack (Dec 11, 2012)

Kodak end of the life
:-O

0 upvotes
Earthyartist
By Earthyartist (Dec 12, 2012)

Or at least no more "Kodak moments"...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 42