Apple and Google formed a rare partnership to jointly bid to acquire some of the 1,100+ imaging patents on-sale and currently held by the Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak). The photography giant is on a selling-spree, after it accumulated $6.75 billion in debt, while holding $5.1 billion worth assets. Kodak's assets, according to court documents, value an estimated $2.21-2.57 billion.
Apple and Google's coming together is no friendly act. It allows the two not to compete, and in return, not end up with a high price to pay. Further, it weeds out future IP infringement lawsuits between the two, since they'd each have access to the same exact patents.
According to Richard Ehrlickman, a former VP of patent brokerage firm IP Offerings, the two learned from the recent auction of Nortel Networks' patents, in which a Microsoft+Apple+RIM combine edged out Google to bag patents for $4.5 billion. "Apple and Google learned a lesson from the Nortel's auction," Ehrlickman said, adding "They have decided to come together in this process to reduce the cost of purchasing the Kodak patents, while meeting their business needs."