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February 22, 2010

Microsoft, Amazon.com sign patent cross-license deal

Agreement covers various products and technology including e-reading device Kindle

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft said that it has signed a patent cross-license agreement with online retailer Amazon.com that allows each company to access other’s patent portfolio.

The agreement covers various products and technology including e-reading device Kindle, which employs both open source and Amazon’s proprietary software components, and Amazon’s use of Linux-based servers. Microsoft said that the Amazon.com will pay under the agreement, but didn’t disclose the amount.

Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft, said: “We are pleased to have entered into this patent license agreement with Amazon.com. Microsoft’s patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the software industry, and this agreement demonstrates our mutual respect for intellectual property as well as our ability to reach pragmatic solutions to IP issues regardless of whether proprietary or open source software is involved.”

Since launching IP licensing program in December 2003, Microsoft said that it has entered into more than 600 licensing agreements to develop programs that enable customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to the company’s R&D investments and its growing patent and IP portfolio.

In recent years, Microsoft has entered into similar agreements with other companies, including Apple, HP, LG Electronics, Nikon, Novell, Hoya Corporation Pentax Imaging Systems Division, Pioneer, Samsung Electronics and Fuji Xerox.

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