Kodak is currently auctioning off about 1,100 digital imaging patents in an effort to pull itself out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the bids offered by both Apple and Google are far below what the patents are reportedly worth. Both firms bid between $150 million and $250 million, BBC said Tuesday, but Kodak originally hoped to bank as much as $2.6 billion for the intellectual property.
Apple has reportedly hired Intellectual Ventures, a firm with experience with patent acquisitions and licensing, to handle the deal. Meanwhile, Google apparently hired a similar firm named RPX.
Kodak didn’t say whether or not the reports of low initial bids were true. “The auction process, including information about bids and the identity of bidders, is confidential pursuant to an order of the Bankruptcy Court,” the company told BBC. “Disclosure of submitted bids or the identity of bidders would violate the court’s order and Kodak believes that speculation about the details and potential outcome of the auction is inappropriate.” One analyst told the British news outlet that he believes the bid prices will increase as Google and Apple try to outbid one another.
Bidding for the auction is set to end within one week, on August 13th. Kodak will use the earnings to pay off part of its debt.