Microsoft inks patent deal with Fuji Xerox

Money will change hands in the cross-licensing deal, but the companies aren't going into details.

Microsoft said late Wednesday that it has inked a patent swap deal with Fuji Xerox that paves the way for the companies to use each other's technology.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement, except to say that money will change hands. Funds will flow in both directions, Microsoft, but it declined to say which way it expects the balance to tilt.

The deal is the latest in a series of such cross-licensing deals for Microsoft, which has worked in recent years to both file more patents and to more aggressively license its technology.

Microsoft touted a similar deal with Seiko Epson in November and also announced one with NEC last May.

In a statement, the companies said Fuji Xerox will obtain access to Microsoft patents to use in products that include both proprietary and open-source software, such as Linux. Last November, Microsoft signed a deal with Novell that guaranteed that it would not sue Novell, or those who use its Linux distribution, for patent infringement.

"We are pleased to be able to reach a broad, mutually beneficial patent agreement with Microsoft that respects each company's patent portfolio, encourages greater interoperability, and provides valuable protection for the customers of each company's products and services," Fuji Xerox Senior Vice President Kiyoshi Saito said in a statement.

Microsoft, meanwhile, will be able to use Fuji Xerox technology in Office and other products, it said.

"This agreement is an example of our desire to share our innovations with other companies and build a stronger IT ecosystem through access to intellectual property," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a statement.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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