Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, a patent-aggregation firm, are teaming to form one bidding group, the people said. The other consortium includes Google Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc., HTC Corp., and another patent aggregation firm, RPX Corp., the people said.
The people familiar with the discussions cautioned that work on bids could continue over the weekend, with alliances changing and other bidders potentially emerging.
Kodak is holding the auction for its trove of 1,100 patents as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings. The initial bid deadline is on Monday.
The WSJ notes that the patents being sold are divided into two lots: the digital capture portfolio related to capturing and processing images on cameras, smartphones and tablets; and the Kodak Imaging Systems and Services patents related to storing and analyzing images, among other things.
Kodak suggests the patents are worth $2.6 billion combined but is unlikely to get that much for them.