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Toshiba And Microsoft Agree To Play Nice

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-13

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The two technology companies decide to cross-license each other's patents, avoiding future legal battles.

According to Techworld.com, late April's agreement on licensing certain computer and consumer electronics patents means the firms may freely use patents developed by either company.

Details of the agreement, such as the number and identities of the patents licensed, were not disclosed. Confidentiality was stated as the reason why.

Toshiba likely wishes to avoid another judgment like the one that will have them paying Lexar Media $380 million USD. That dispute involved flash memory technology. And other suits between Toshiba and Lexar continue to play out in court.

Microsoft and Toshiba have made other cross-licensing deals with other companies. For the Redmond-based software maker, the deal with SAP to integrate Office with SAP back-end enterprise resource management software allows both companies to license the resulting product.

And those following the three year rivalry between Toshiba and Sony on next-generation DVD technology may be surprised to know the two companies cross-license about 24,000 patents. That agreement was in a five year deal signed by the two in late 2004.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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