The long battle between Microsoft and Google over patents appears to be over with both companies announcing that they have reached a new agreement.
The five-year legal battle is made up of eighteen lawsuits relating to the use of technologies in mobile phones, WiFi and other areas, both companies claiming that the other had used their intellectual property.
Details regarding the deal have not been publicly shared, but in a joint statement the firms said they would “collaborate on certain patent matters”.
Over the last two decades, a number of the technology market leaders have been in and out of court with the biggest rivals regarding patent row, the war between Apple and Samsung has been highly reported on in the media. There is now, however, a new trend coming in where technology firms are eager to keep such rows out of the courts with many companies shifting towards licensing agreements whereby it’s rival may use the technology in return for payment and other specified limitations.
In a brief, joint statement, the companies said:
“Microsoft and Google are pleased to announce an agreement on patent issues. As part of the agreement, the companies will dismiss all pending patent infringement litigation between them, including cases related to Motorola Mobility. Separately, Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers.”
Patent rows are a complicated affair, not helped by companies purchasing other firms and taking control of their assets, including patents. It was Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the mobile arm of the company, which has caused many of the disputes between Google and Microsoft. With the search giant owning Motorola’s patents and an existing deal regarding video compression and wireless technology.
How long such a truce will last is anyone’s guess but given these two companies are market leaders, a collaboration of sorts can only be a good thing for consumers moving forward.