After Google-Motorola Deal, Could Apple Buy Kodak Just For The Patents?

After Google-Motorola Deal, Could Apple Buy Kodak Just For The Patents?

Attention patent shoppers: aisle one has a deal on digital imaging. Kodak is worth billions – not as a company, but for its patent portfolio. Indeed, just a portion of Kodak’s intellectual property is worth more than five times its stock value. Are you listening, Apple?

Kodak is “the lowest hanging fruit out there,” according to a patent expert talking with Bloomberg. If Kodak sold just its digital imaging patents — only 10 percent of the company’s IP portfolio — it could earn more than $3 billion, much more than the $575.77 million market capitalization as of Tuesday.

Here’s where Apple comes in.

Kodak is suing Apple before the International Trade Commission, charging the tech giant infringed upon a digital imaging patent that could bring in $1 billion in licensing. Samsung and LG have already paid more than $950 million in royalties. The outcome of the ITC case is in question after the the presiding judge about to hand down a ruling retired, leaving the case to a new judge.

As we’ve often written, patents have become the latest tool to gain market share or exact revenge on rivals. When Apple purchased Nortel’s patents for $4.5 billion, putting Android in the cross-hairs, Google cried fowl. However, Monday, the Android owner acquired Motorola – along with thousands of patents.

Thinking is that Kodak could sell its digital imaging patents to Apple, gaining a huge infusion of cash. The option appears to have reached the company’s boardroom. “We believe the timing is right and that we have a great opportunity for these very valuable assets,” Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said in July.

Talk about your potential for a door-buster.

  • JessicaSarah902048

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,http://bit.ly/Bid1st

    NOW 100% WORKING

  • djgrahamj

    The headline is a pretty dumb question – of course it could. It could have before the MotoGoog deal, too. How about informing instead of asking?

  • Wes Baker

    Mr. Sutherland, it would be interesting to ask in light of all of the companies recently bought for their “intellectual property” whether or not there’s an impending economic bubble in the IP/Patent system?  It is very clear, at least to me, that the IP/Patent system has long since headed down the path of worthless paper (akin to mortgage back securities) that are bought and sold for billions which are passed along in multiples to consumers, hinder innovation, but are a massive boon for the legal industry.

    In other words, all of the hallmarks of a bubble.

  • lsla40
  • macgizmo

    If the headline is a question, the answer is always no.

  • SarahMorgan13556

    I just paíd $21.87 for an íPad 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will
    never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also
    sold a 40 inch L E D T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://to.ly/aXoC

  • SarahMorgan13556

    lkokl

  • Bitter Witch

    Are you kidding?  There are many other companies with better cameras, especially those who make DSLRs ;)

  • AnupR

    Apple may soon buy Google…PERIOD.

  • CharliK

    Yes but they may still have to license Kodak’s patents. 

    Personally I think of Apple buys Kodak or its patents it will have nada to do with Google etc. The only court deal they might be thinking about is the one Kodak put on them. The buy out could be part of a “settlement” deal

  • CharliK

    There were rumors to that effect just a couple of weeks ago. 

  • Does anyone proofread anymore?

    Kodak has invented a lot of stuff and then not done anything with it.  They invented the digital camera in the 60s.  What happened?  The same thing that happened when they invented the OLED screens…nothing.  They just sold the rights to it.  Seems Kodak has some really bright people in the ‘inventing’ arena, but the marketing folks leave a lot to be desired…maybe they should contact GEICO and get some references….

  • Does anyone proofread anymore?

    Maybe if they didn’t outsource everything they do, they could actually be a player in the world again…but Rochester seems to need some exlax…..

  • Does anyone proofread anymore?

    and Google cried FOWL?   PUHLEAZE…….are you really that professional of a writer if you mix up those two words?  I need your job…..

  • trash plate

    You can thank the dinosaurs over on the film side for
    that.  Kodak and apple worked together in
    the early 90’s and came out with the quick take.  The first consumer digital
    camera.  Management in film found out and
    pulled the funding stating that we were trying to kill film and
    destroy the company.

  • trash plate

    Don’t forget about all the tax credits that come with the purchase of Kodak.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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