Kodak sold patents for $525 million to two patent firms, Intellectual Ventures and RPX.
Those firms, according to release, are organising 12 patent licensees to pay the $525 million.
And who are those licensees?
Well, Bloomberg reports that it’s just about every single major tech company in the world: Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Samsung, Adobe, Shutterfly, Huawei, Fujifilm, and HTC.
Split 12 ways, it’s only $43 million per company, which is nothing for these guys.
This is a much better way to deal with the patents. Instead of going to court, just pitch in to buy them.
Of course, the downside is that if any upstart comes along with a great new phone or operating system, it’s going to have to get patents from 12 companies that will not want to give it patents.
So, in that regard the rich and powerful are getting more entrenched, which could suck for consumers in the long run.