Google and Microsoft have agreed to a settlement of sorts in a long-running patent dispute between the two tech giants. In all, the agreement will see around 20 lawsuits dropped in the U.S. and Germany. From Bloomberg:
“The companies pledged in a statement to work together in other ways related to intellectual property, including development of a royalty-free, video-compression technology to speed downloads, in an initiative that also involves Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. They will also lobby for specific rules on a unified patent system throughout Europe.”
This puts to an end a patent fight that has been running since 2010, when Microsoft first accused Google’s Android of using some of its patented technologies without paying royalties. Meanwhile, Motorola had been demanding royalties from Microsoft over patents used in the Xbox. This latest move seems to signal that we may be seeing a concerted effort for more cooperation, rather than litigation, between two of the world’s largest tech firms.
Last month, Microsoft and Google along with a few other companies banded together to form a royalty free collaboration for future video formats. Presumably, the consortium was developed to avoid further instances of long and costly legal disputes such as the Microsoft, Motorola, and Google issue.
The details of the resolution have not been made public information yet, but it is a promising sign to see Microsoft and Google at least letting off the throttle a bit.