Google became a party to the ongoing disputes after it acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2012.
Neither Microsoft nor Google disclosed further details on the collaboration, which is a welcome development as the two companies end their bitter years-long fight over patents. As part of the agreement, Google also dropped all pending litigation involving Motorola Mobility, a former Google company that is now owned by Lenovo. A statement released by Google(NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says that both firms have “agreed on certain patent matters and (look forward to) working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers”.
So what does this mean for Google, Microsoft, and the tech industry as a whole? Motorola was obligated to offer those licenses at a reasonable cost but failed to do so, Microsoft said later.
While we have started to see a few positive changes, I don’t assume that Microsoft will immediately give up all their patents.
But of late there has been a shift towards licensing rather than litigation.
Microsoft sued Motorola in 2010 for patent infringement, and Motorola counter-sued later that year. The companies were also involved in court disputes in Germany over a German patent regarding a standard for video encoding. Microsoft stated Motorola had failed in its responsibility to pretty permit its patents over wireless technology and movie retention.
It turns out that Microsoft’s newly found love for Linux, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, is more than infatuation.
Even Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols sounds (cautiously) optimistic: With this new Google rapprochement, Microsoft does indeed appear to be on its way to adopting a more open-source friendly intellectual property (IP) approach.
“I absolutely agree with analysts who view this agreement between Microsoft and Google as a sign of Microsoft’s attitude toward competitors being fundamentally different under its new CEO than under Steve Ballmer and, previously, Bill Gates”, he added.