Two key players of the technology and innovation arena - Microsoft Corp and Google Inc., have finally agreed to put an end to their five year battle. The long-running patent feud of about 20 lawsuits in the United States and Germany, over the smartphones and video game systems, has been agreed to be dropped by these technology giants. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed as of yet, however the firms in a joint statement has indicated that they will “collaborate on certain patent matters”. Their indication also included the possibility of working together in ways relating to intellectual property, including development of a royalty-free, video-compression technology to speed downloads. They have also pledged to lobby for specific rules on a unified patent system throughout Europe.
Over the years, the fight over software has turned quite intense as firms have sought to capitalize on their patent portfolios. But lately, the shift towards licensing as opposed to litigation is a refreshing scene indeed. Why have a tangled web of disputes, when you can implement a systemic, unified and win-win situation for all? All hail unity!
In a brief joint statement, the companies said "Microsoft and Google have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together to other areas in the future to benefit our customers”. The tech giants have also said, "As part of the agreement, the companies will dismiss all pending patent infringement litigation between them, including cases related to Motorola Mobility.”
Among the numerous disputes between the two firms, some of the significant trouble between the two was incited upon Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2011. This meant, that the search giant took on board a large number of patents relating to mobile phone and network technology. In 2011, Google bought Motorola's mobile arm for $12.5bn (£8.3bn), only to sell it in 2014 for $2.91bn to Lenovo. However, Google retained the bulk of the patents it took on in the original deal. Microsoft sued Google over a patent that allowed for long text messages to be broken into pieces, sent, and reassembled on the receiver's phone. One particular sensational clash between this pair of awesome twosome was over the Xbox games system. Microsoft said Motorola had failed in its obligation to fairly license its patents over video compression and wireless technology. The Court upheld Microsoft’s complaint.
Although this round of fight is ended with this deal, there is no guarantee that we shall not see further clashes of these tech giants in the future. As the consumers, let us hope that the white flag of truce keep waving over these tech giants and they continue with the constant evolvement of newer and sleeker technology.