Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) And Google (GOOG) End Pending Patent Feud
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have agreed to amicably end their pending patent disputes instead of carrying on with grueling litigations against each other. The differences between Microsoft and Google touched on smartphone and game console technologies. Google was sucked into the patent dispute with Microsoft mainly through Motorola Mobility, which it acquired and has since sold in part.
The move to make nice between Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google ends 18 patent disputes that the companies brought against each other in the U.S. and Germany. In a joint statement, the companies announced that they have an agreement to dismiss all the outstanding patent cases between them.
Long running patent dispute
The patent dispute between Microsoft and Google goes back about five years. Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility, then existing as a separate entity from Google, of breaking their FRAND agreement. FRAND involves non-discriminatory technology licensing. In something like a rejoinder, Motorola too took Microsoft to court. Motorola filed a suit in a German court accusing Microsoft of infringing on some of its patents in the Xbox gaming system. The International Trade Commission sided with Motorola, confirming that Microsoft improperly used four of Motorola’s patents in Xbox.
However, not to be outdone, Microsoft fire again, claiming that Motorola violated some of its smartphone patents.
The two sides have been in a push and pull situation over the past several years to the point that they feel fighting is no longer good for them. The move to do away with their pending patent suits comes after Google sold a portion of Motorola to Lenovo and both companies made leadership changes. Microsoft is now lead by Satya Nadella while Google has Sundar Pichai at the helm as CEO.
In addition to ending their pending patent wars, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google have also announced plans to drift closer to each other. The companies will collaborate, including on patent matters. The idea is that they believe their partnership will yield benefits for both of them and their customers.
The announcement about collaboration plans between Microsoft and Google comes at a time when once bitter rivals in the technology space are increasingly seeking to work together. For example, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making nice with the International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Microsoft and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) to help it expand its enterprise business.
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