|Kodak is still in talks with Apple and Google about a purchase of its patent portfolio, Reuters reports. The news comes as Kodak has been granted an extended deadline, until February 28th, to keep exclusive control of its bankruptcy case. Kodak claims that it's "confident" its patents will sell for a $500 million minimum, needed to secure a $793 million loan.
The loan deal has yet to get court approval, but is essential for Kodak's long-term plans. The company is hoping to leave bankruptcy protection in the first half of 2013, and resume with a new focus, concentrating less on consumers than the commercial imaging market. Apple and Google have previously led separate investor groups looking into buying Kodak's patents, but their bids were valued at no more than $250 million, far below a $2.6 billion Kodak estimate. The auction process was supposed to close in August, but was postponed after Kodak couldn't finalize deals with a collection of interested parties.
Despite Kodak's troubles, the patents may be an important strategic buy. The company owns a number of patents related to digital imaging, which could be used as both offensive and defensive weapons in the lawsuit-drenched electronics industry.