Microsoft and Google have agreed to bury all patent infringement litigation against each other, the companies announced last week, settling 18 cases in the United States and Germany. The companies said the deal puts an end to court fights involving a variety of technologies, including mobile phones, Wi-Fi, and patents used in Microsoft’s Xbox game consoles and other Windows products. The agreement also drops all litigation involving Motorola Mobility, which Google sold to Lenovo last year while keeping its patents.
However, as Microsoft and Google continue to make products that compete directly with each other, including search engines and mobile computing devices, the agreement does not preclude any future infringement lawsuits, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed.
The agreement brings an end to legal battles over the use of technology in mobile phones and Wi-Fi and of patents covering games for the Xbox video-gaming console and Windows products, Efe cited the two companies as saying in a joint statement. “Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers,” the companies said without disclosing financial terms.
The legal battles began in 2010, when Microsoft accused Motorola, later acquired by Google, of non-compliance with its obligation to allow companies to license patents covering wireless networking and video technologies at a reasonable price. Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo last year but kept some assets, including the majority of its patents.