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Microsoft and Olympus Enter Into Broad Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement


Microsoft Corp. and Olympus Corp. have signed a broad patent cross-licensing agreement to further the development of each company’s current and future product lines. Financial terms of the cross-licensing agreement have not been disclosed.

The agreement, signed by representatives of both companies at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, is an expansion of the standing relationship between Olympus and Microsoft. This collaboration will promote the exchange of information and incorporation of patented technologies into numerous consumer electronics products, particularly products that involve digital imaging technologies.

“This intellectual property licensing agreement is a collaboration that will foster innovation and ultimately benefit customers and consumers,” said Horacio Gutierrez, vice president of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. “We have an extensive global patent portfolio that can benefit companies that sell digital cameras, digital imaging technologies and consumer electronics products. Collaborating with industry leaders like Olympus enhances our ability, and theirs, to innovate and design newer exciting technologies that enrich the entire IT ecosystem.”

“This cross-license agreement will enable Microsoft and Olympus to intensify the R&D efforts in digital imaging technologies,” said Koji Koda, division manager of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Olympus. “The experience and patent portfolio that Microsoft and Olympus hold in the digital imaging technologies will make the collaboration even greater. This will benefit consumers long term and help drive industry growth.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Technology

This licensing agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 200 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open up access to Microsoft’s significant research and development investments and its growing, rich patent and IP portfolio. In the past year, Microsoft has entered into similar agreements with Cadence Design Systems Inc., Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd., Kenwood Corp., LG Electronics, Olympus, Nortel Networks, Novell Inc., and Samsung.


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