Apple may have acquired or at least hired some engineers away from camera sensor company InVisage Technologies, a move that some watchers speculate could potentially pave the way for future iPhones that take better low-light photographs.
In addition to celebrating Bastille Day with 'Shot on iPhone' imagery in blue/white/red tones representing the country's national flag appearing on the company's French website and billboards across the country, the Cupertino firm has also signed a lease with the city of Grenoble to open a research and development center at the heart of the town.
The 800-square-meter facility will reportedly focus on imaging components and employ about thirty engineers, according to the local newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré cited by French blog iPhone.fr.
In a bid to potentially boost its mobile imaging prowess, Apple has purchased an Israeli camera technology company called LinX Imaging for a reported $20 million, according to a Dow Jones report cited in a tweet by CNBC and later confirmed by Apple.
LinX, which builds miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices, could help improve imaging features of future iPhones.
And because its technology is also used in tablets and so-called ultrabooks (ultra-thin notebooks akin to Apple's MacBook Air), there's a reasonable likelihood that we may see significantly improved cameras come to Apple's Mac computers and iPad tablet lineup.
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...
Wednesday morning, Kodak announced that it has agreed to sell its digital imaging patents to two consortiums, Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, that are backed by Silicon Valley giants Apple, Google, Microsoft and other companies. The transaction is valued at $525 million.
That's way less than their previously estimated worth of about $2.6 billion. The $525 million will be paid by Intellectual Ventures and the two consortiums twelve licensees, each receiving rights to the digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents. Another portion will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which is acquiring the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to these new licenses, as well as previously existing licenses...
I bet you never though that sworn enemies such as Apple, Samsung and Google would ever go to bed together, especially given an erupting fight between Apple and Google over Kodak's patents. But anything is possible in this crazy word, chiefly when the benefits of such an unusual partnership include cost savings plus joint, harmless ownership of more than 1,000 Kodak patents related to digital imaging.
The odd bedfellows are joined by a few other firms (LG, HTC and more) and the usual suspects that specialize in IP transactions. The consortium is organized so no company could exclusively own the patents and assert them against other members in litigation...
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and Apple's been attempting to transfer its patent dispute with the imaging company out of bankruptcy court ever since, but to no avail. As Kodak now looks to sell off a trove of 1,100 patents related to digital cameras, smartphones and tablets, bidders are lining up, including the usual suspects, technology giants Apple and Google...