(iPhone 5 (white, camera closeup 001)

Earlier this year, Kodak completed the sale of more than 1,000 digital imaging patents in an effort to help restructure the company after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It wanted $2 billion for the portfolio, but only garnered $500 million from a group of companies.

That consortium consisted of several tech giants, including Google and Apple. And according to a new report, their names are starting to turn up on transfer filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, meaning Kodak’s patents are changing hands…

AppleInsider reports:

“Filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed on Tuesday that the transfer of a number of patents from Kodak to Apple has begun, with the iPhone maker taking ownership of several patents covering aspects of digital photography.

Thursday saw the filing of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,432,479, 8,432,472, 8,432,456, and 8,432,461. The patents in question cover measurement of range using a zoom camera, displaying and sharing digital images, and wireless sharing of digital images via a network.”

It’s hard to say what Apple’s exact plans for the patents are, but at the very least they’ll be able to use them to help defend their products against would-be litigators. Practically every device that the company produces has at least one, if not two, built-in digital cameras.

The good news, though, is that it would have a hard time using them to start an patent war with other tech companies, considering most of its major rivals were a part of the winning group. They, along with Kodak, will all have licenses to the stack of digital imaging IP.

Speaking of digital imaging, Apple is set to unveil its next-generation iPhone 5S later this year, and one of its major improvements over its predecessor is expected to be its new camera system. Word has it that it’ll have a double LED flash and up to a 13MP sensor.