SAMSUNG and Microsoft Announce Broad Patent Agreement
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. today announced that the companies entered into a broad patent cross licensing agreement. Samsung Electronics is the largest publisher of United States patents in 2006 and owner of one of the largest U.S. patent portfolios. The companies expect the agreement to accelerate their respective product development efforts. Microsoft has actively sought patent agreements with a range of companies in an attempt to build bridges with an array of consumer electronics, telecommunications, computer hardware and Linux/Unix platform providers.
Through the agreement, Samsung will obtain access to Microsoft patents that may be practiced in a range of Samsung’s existing and future product lines, such as computer products, set-top-boxes, digital media players, camcorders, televisions, printers, and home appliances. In these product lines, Samsung and its distributors and customers may utilize Microsoft’s patents in Samsung’s products with proprietary software and Samsung will also obtain coverage from Microsoft for its customers’ use of certain Linux-based products.
Likewise, Microsoft will gain access to Samsung’s large patent portfolio relating to digital media and computer related inventions, for its existing and future products. The specific financial terms of the agreement are confidential, but both parties will receive monetary payments compensating them for the value of their portfolios.
“Offering customers elegant, highly desirable products requires advanced scientific research and design inspiration,” said Shung Hyun (Peter) Cho, Senior Vice President of the Digital Media R&D Center at Samsung Electronics. “Patent collaboration agreements like this expand access to ideas and lead to even more desirable products for our customers.”
“We are always looking for new opportunities to work collaboratively within the industry and Samsung was a natural fit, particularly because of their leadership in the rapidly changing world of digital media technologies,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Vice President of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. “Companies that collaborate are in the best position to deliver the products and service that their customers demand.”
Today’s announcement is the latest in a growing set of agreements that help build bridges across a range of computer hardware, software and telecommunication products from the world’s leading companies. In the past twelve months, Microsoft has announced similar agreements with companies such as Novell, NEC, Fuji-Xerox, Seiko-Epson and Nortel.
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