Apple Inc and Google Inc have joined forces to offer more than US$500 million to buy Eastman Kodak Co's patents out of bankruptcy, said two people with knowledge of the situation.
The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate consortia this summer to buy Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.
Unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralise potential infringement litigation. A group including Apple, Microsoft Corp and Research in Motion Ltd bought Nortel Networks Cor's more than 6,000 patents for $4.5 billion out of bankruptcy last year. Google lost the auction for those patents after making an initial offer of $900 million.
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