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Kodak Sells Off Patents for $525M to Apple, Facebook, Google

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 10: Convention attendees visit the Kodak booth at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 13 and is expected to feature 2,700 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 140,000 attendees. Eastman Kodak Co., sued Apple Inc. and HTC Corp. today, claiming infringement of technology. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    Kodak agreed to sell its patent portfolio for $525 million to a consortium of companies that include Apple, Facebook and Google, according to reports.

    Kodak will use the money to pay off its bankruptcy debt, if it is approved by the bankruptcy court, according TechCrunch. The group of companies include 12 licensees which all paid a portion of the $525 million.

    The licensees:

    • Apple, Inc.
    • Research In Motion Limited
    • Google Inc.
    • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    • Adobe Systems Incorporated
    • HTC Corporation
    • Facebook, Inc
    • Fujifilm Corporation
    • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
    • Amazon Fulfillment Services, Inc.
    • Shutterfly, Inc.
    • Microsoft Corporation
    Looking at the list may make some readers scratch their heads. Aren't these some of the same companies that are suing one another in court over patents?  Yes, but because patent suits are long, expensive and may not be resolved in one company's favor, companies are taking the consortium approach with minimal cost. A full-scale bidding war could have inflated the value into the billions.
    Could this be the end to acrimonious patent infringement cases and so-called patent trolls? One can only hope.