Microsoft and Google announced on Thursday that the two companies will bury all patent infringement cases pending against one another, including those related to smartphones, Windows software, and Microsoft‘s Xbox game consoles. Microsoft said Motorola had failed in its obligation to fairly license its patents over video compression and wireless technology.
And Google and Microsoft, along with other video-heavy tech companies, recently announced plans to create stronger-better-faster media formats, all as part of the Alliance for Open Media. In a joint statement, Microsoft and Google reiterate their desire to be more collaborative and less combative in the future regarding patent disputes. It was acquired by Google in 2012 for $12.5 billion, as Google wanted to gain an upper hand on the company’s patent portfolio to protect other Android vendors from similar claims. There hasn’t been much love between Microsoft and Google, though, but an announcement Wednesday may signal an easing of those tensions.
The technology leaders also said that they have been cooperating on such issues, particularly, the setting up of an EU-wide patent court by the European Union, to ensure that such lawsuits don’t become as rife in Europe as they are in the U.S. Neither company revealed any financial details behind the agreement.
“There’s nothing in it that would suggest Microsoft made any headway in five years of suing”, said patent expert Florian Mueller. During its long-running battle with Microsoft, Google argued that it held the patents for a few of the technology found in the Xbox and wanted royalties. Since then, the Redmond-based company has signed patent licensing agreements with just about every Android device vendor in the business.
Microsoft and Google have agreed to halt their patent disputes, involving 18 such cases now in process in courts, in the USA and Germany.
Over the years, Microsoft has aggressively pursued companies using the Android operating system, looking for royalty payments, and Redmond achieved a few notable successes in getting big name companies to cough up royalty payments.
The limited truce follows a similar deal between Samsung and Apple who choose to drop their patent disputes past year.