Microsoft, Google Agree to End Patent Suits Against Each Other

The Microsoft Corporation and Google Inc have reached an agreement to dismiss a range of legal disputes against each other. By declaring ceasefire, the two tech giants indicate that they are withdrawing about 18 lawsuits involving technologies such as mobile phones, wireless connectivity, and video decoding.

In a joint statement, the two corporations said they would work together on a range of patent issues to the best interests of their customers. The statement did not contain any specific details as of yet, including the financial terms of the truce.

The firms said that they have been collaborating on an array of patent issues, including the establishment of a unified court in the European Union to hear patent cases. The two are also working together on developing royalty-free technology to boost video speeds on the internet.

Image Credit: Reuters/Getty Images
Image Credit: Reuters/Getty Images

Google and Microsoft have had several active lawsuits against each other, some stemming from Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility. The acquisition meant that Google increased its patents portfolio, including networking and mobile telephony. Although Google sold Motorola to Lenovo last year, the search engine giant retained its patents.

In one of the most heated disputes between the two tech competitors, Microsoft sued Motorola in 2010 for violating its legal duty to permit use of its wireless and video patents in Xbox gaming technology at a fair cost. Later, a U.S. appeals court determined that a federal judge in Seattle had fairly set the low price that Microsoft paid to use the patents in contention.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters that the truce, which covers active cases in the United States and Germany, does not preempt future legal conflicts between Microsoft and Google, as the firms continue to develop products that rival one another in areas such as search engines and mobile computing.

This deal is the latest of moves by mobile technology firms to resolve their patent differences out of court, with licensing increasingly becoming the most preferred solution. Samsung Electronics and Apple, both of which are Smartphone heavyweights with competing interests in and out of the U.S, agreed in 2014 to withdraw all their lawsuits against one another outside the United States.

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