Software giant Microsoft and camera specialists Canon announced today that the two companies have signed into a cross-licensing agreement for intellectual property (IP) patents. The agreement gives each company the ability to license numerous patents, from mobile phones to digital imaging. Contents of the scope and scale of the agreement, as well as monetary considerations, were not disclosed in the announcement.
Information on which types of patents are involved in the agreement weren't expanded upon, but the statement indicates that the agreement grants "licenses to each other's highly-valued and growing patent portfolios." While it specifically points out digital imaging and mobile consumer products as part of the deal, there will be a "broad range" of products and services covered.
"This collaborative approach with Canon allows us to deliver inventive technologies that benefit consumers around the world," said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager and associate general counsel for Microsoft's intellectual property group. "Microsoft believes cooperative licensing is an effective way to accelerate innovation while reducing patent disputes."
Microsoft has made other such patent arrangements since it started its IP program in 2003. Motorola and Samsung are only two of the companies included in the 1,100 licensing agreements Microsoft has made. The program helped curb infringement lawsuits in the past, giving Microsoft a chance to negotiate deals rather than settle matters in court.
The agreement between Microsoft and Canon isn't the first the two have forged. According to ZDNet, Canon licensed the exFAT file format from Microsoft back in 2009.