Apple, Facebook, Google Divvy Up Kodak Patents

A group of tech companies including Apple and Google won court approval on a $527 million deal to buy up Eastman Kodak Co.'s patents.

The agreement was approved in U.S. Bankruptcy court in Manhattan, according to Bloomberg News. Kodak was reportedly disappointed in the price, especially since estimates reported the patents worth more than $2 billion. However, Kodak is selling the patents in hopes of exiting bankruptcy. The company filed for bankruptcy January 2012.

Joining Apple and Google are other companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, RIM and Samsung, who all want to be included in the division of Kodak's 1,000 patents related to digital images. The individual companies pay for only the patents they want rather than ramping up bidding to billions of dollars.

For many, this may seem an odd partnership because some of the same companies have litigation pending towards one another. However, profit seems to still be king and most companies realize that patent suits can be long, expensive and may not end in one's favor. The consortium helps offset those costs early in the process.

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