Microsoft has sued Motorola for patent infringement in 2010 and the lawsuit has been carried over to Google after the search company acquired Motorola the year after.
Microsoft and Google have agreed to drop their five-year-strong patent lawsuits, and have even hinted that the two companies “anticipate working together” on future projects.
While the resolution between Microsoft and Google is somewhat unorthodox for the two competing companies traditional stance towards each other, it shouldn’t be that surprising. That doesn’t mean Microsoft has given up its campaign to collect royalties from Android device makers for the mobile operating system’s alleged infringement of Microsoft patents.
Although the legal fight was started by Microsoft against Motorola, Google joined the battle in 2013 when it purchased the latter, which was the final step towards a long-time dispute between two of the world’s largest tech companies.
Now with Google and Microsoft shaking hands, can one hope patent reform to find new life? Neither company disclosed financial terms but they have come to a private agreement according to Bloomberg.
Do you think Google and Microsoft’s settlement is positive for consumers?
The suits that have been settled include those related to mobile phones, video encoding and wi-fi technologies.
Microsoft and Google have agreed to halt their patent disputes, involving 18 such cases now in process in courts, in the USA and Germany.
The agreement marks a new amity between Microsoft and one of its top erstwhile enemies, and reflects a different tone set by Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella.
Google a year ago sold Motorola Mobility to Chinese computer giant Lenovo in a deal valued at US$2.9 billion, but held on to patents.
When it comes to patent policy, the companies agree they want to make it harder for patent-licensing firms that don’t make products and are derided as “trolls”.
Many reference former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for the driving force behind the patent feud, trying to constrain Android’s growth and trying to give Windows Phone the edge.