Microsoft has announced an increased strategic alliance with Canon that will see the two firms continue to share patents and intellectual property. The firms have broadened their relationship, according to a statement from Microsoft.
The cross-licensing agreement gives each company access to a broad collection of software patents and ‘growing’ portfolios that relate to mobile devices and digital imagery.
“This collaborative approach with Canon allows us to deliver inventive technologies that benefit consumers around the world,” said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager, associate general counsel, IP licensing of the innovation and intellectual property group at Microsoft.
“Microsoft believes co-operative licensing is an effective way to accelerate innovation while reducing patent disputes.”
Neither Microsoft or Canon are willing to disclose the terms of the deal, nor what patents it covers. Both are glad to have extended what is an already mutually beneficial relationship.
“This agreement is a natural extension of our longstanding relationship with Microsoft and commitment to developing innovative technologies,” added Hideki Sanatake, senior general manager, Corporate Intellectual Property and Legal Headquarters at Canon.
Both firms have plenty of resources. Earlier this year we reported that Canon had gained the third-largest number of patents in the US in 2013 with 3,825 listed. Microsoft was fifth with 2,660 patents. IBM, which leads the pack, listed a staggering 6,809 patents in 2013.
The deal is just one of many signed between tech companies in recent months and years as patents become increasingly important to differentiate services, with smartphones vendors heading to court on numerous occasions over claims of infringement.