San Francisco, CA
After competing for smartphone and computer supremacy, Apple and Google are set to go at it again -- this time for Kodak's patents. The popular imaging company Eastman Kodak Co. is selling over 1,000 patents and Apple and Google are set to compete for most of it.
Apple is joining forces with Microsoft Corp. and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC while Google is partnering with patent firm RPX Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and HTC Corp in preparation for the bidding.
These alliances are not set in stone and could experience a shake-up in the upcoming weeks.
The Wall Street Journal reports: "The contest comes amid a global battle over intellectual property as Apple and Google jockey for position atop the lucrative smartphone market. In recent years, Apple and Google have made big advances in mobile design and software, but as relative newcomers they have vulnerabilities regarding basic phone functions that leave them vulnerable to intellectual property suits largely aimed at slowing them down."
Apple and Microsoft won a bidding war against Google just last year for the telecommunications company Nortel Networks.
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy seven months ago. The company is selling two portfolios. One portfolio containing patents to capture and view images on tablets, cameras and smartphones and the other portfolio contains patents to analyzing images.
The Wall Street Journal continues: "The consortiums reflect pre-existing rivalries and alliances in the mobile phone space. Apple has filed several patent-infringement lawsuits against handset makers that use Google's Android operating system, including Samsung and HTC. Intellectual Ventures' co-founder formerly worked at Microsoft as chief strategist and chief technology officer."
The auction for Kodak's patents is scheduled on August 8.
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