Peace has broken out in patent land. For the greater part of five years, Microsoft and most big name Android manufacturers have been in courtrooms working over licensing disputes and patent infringements.
Cooler heads seemed to have prevailed in the heated dispute between Microsoft and Motorola and subsequently, Google.
However, it looks like much of that is about to come to an end, with reports that Microsoft and Google are dropping roughly 20 lawsuits in the USA and Germany that center around video game systems and smartphones. The companies agreed to dismiss all the pending patent cases, including those related to Google’s former Motorola Mobility smartphone unit, Microsoft and Google said in a joint statement Wednesday.
However, as Microsoft and Google continue to make products that compete directly with each other, including search engines and mobile computing devices, the agreement notably does not preclude any future infringement lawsuits, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed. Microsoft obtained an order blocking the feature on Motorola phones imported into the USA though it later said that US customs officials never enforced it.
The companies, which didn’t disclose the terms of the settlement, also said they had “agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers”.
The accord also goes all legal action linked to Motorola Mobility, that will Google referred to Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.Hong kong) in 2011 and keep its asset.
“This opens up the door for partnerships between Google and Microsoft, as Nadella is changing the image of the company into a lover and not a hater of other technology stalwarts”, said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. Efforts to pass a patent reform bill died in Congress previous year.
Bloomberg News earlier reported the end to Microsoft and Google’s patent disputes.