Microsoft, Amazon strike patent licensing deal

The agreement covers Amazon's use of Linux and other open-source software

Amazon.com has agreed to pay Microsoft an undisclosed sum as part of a patent cross-licensing deal between the companies announced on Monday.

The agreement gives each company access to the other's patent portfolio and covers a wide range of products and technologies, Microsoft said in a statement.

Among them, the agreement will shield Amazon from patent litigation against its Kindle e-reader, which includes some open-source software components, and against its use of Linux-based servers, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has asserted in the past that Linux and other open-source software may violate hundreds of its technology patents. The assertion angered open-source advocates, in part because Microsoft did not disclose the patents it said were being infringed.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has signed patent deals with several vendors that include coverage for their use of Linux and open source, including Novell, LG Electronics and Fuji Xerox. The deals are part of a broader IP licensing program that Microsoft kicked off in 2002.

Early last year Microsoft sued TomTom, a maker of in-car navigation systems, for allegedly violating eight of its patents, including three related to TomTom's implementation of Linux. TomTom paid to settle the suit.

Monday's statement doesn't refer to any specific Microsoft products covered by the Amazon agreement. Terms of the deal are confidential, Microsoft said, and a company spokesman declined to comment further.

Microsoft said its licensing program is designed to give other companies access to its research and development efforts and its growing portfolio of patents. It has entered into more than 600 licensing deals since 2002, it said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags amazonMicrosoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?