updated 07:23 pm EDT, Fri July 27, 2012
Apple siding with Microsoft; Google and Samsung team up
At least two major groups are expected to bid on Kodak's patent auction, said sources familiar with the matter. Microsoft, Apple, and notorious patent troll Intellectual Ventures are allegedly lining up on one side. Google is headlining a group with Samsung, HTC, LG, and non-practicing entity RPX. Sources familiar with the matter have said that discussions would continue over the weekend, with alliances changing and other bidders potentially emerging. None of the companies named in any of the alliances have commented on the matter.
When Kodak was queried about the bid process by the Wall Street Journal, a spokesman said that "this is a confidential naked auction and therefore we will have no comment." A naked auction is an auction with no minimum bid required for entry. Kodak's Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer Timothy M. Lynch said that "the bidding procedures are designed to allow bidders to give us their best offers without fear of showing their cards to competitors."
The bankruptcy court-ordered auction of the two Kodak patent lots is set for August 8. The more valuable lot is expected to be the digital-capture portfolio related to capturing and processing images on cameras, smartphones and tablets. Also for sale is the Kodak imaging systems and services patent portfolio related to storing and analyzing images. Kodak has said the patents could be worth up to $2.6 billion, but some doubt exists as to the true value of the set.