|By Maureen O'Gara||
|December 10, 2012 08:00 AM EST||
Kodak might finally get to unload its 1,100 digital imaging patents.
It’s been struggling for months to get somebody to take them off its hand so it can get out of bankruptcy jail. But it will have to settle for less than the $2.6 billion it hoped for after Nortel got that astronomical $4.5 billion for its portfolio, a feat that got needy patent holders like Kodak salivating.
Quoting “two people with knowledge of the situation” Bloomberg says Apple and Google, two unlikely playmates, have put in a joint bid worth upwards of $500 million.
Kodak reportedly calls the deal Komodo. It may involve other companies.
The estranged companies have teamed up after leading separate consortia this summer vying to buy the patents. By getting together they’ll presumably neutralize each other’s threat of litigation.
Before they collapsed Apple led a group including Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management. Google had patent aggregation firm RPX and Asian makers of its Android widgets. The offers reportedly came in at less than $250 million.
Kodak got commitments for $830 million in exit financing last month, contingent on its selling its patents for at least $500 million.
It’s figuring on exiting bankruptcy in the first half and selling printing equipment and services to companies like direct mail firms and book publishers.
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