Microsoft Becomes Bullish Over Patent Agreement: Signs In Quanta Computer

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Microsoft is leveraging on complete potential over the patents it secures. Company has signed a patent agreement, with Quanta Computer that will provide broad coverage of  Microsoft patents to latter one. Under this agreement Quatna Computer can manufacture and market the products under Microsoft patent portfolio. Going further, Quanta Computer – a Taiwan based company and the largest contract PC manufacturers in the world – can manufacture tablets, smartphones and other consumer devices which will run on the Android as well as Chrome platform.

The contents of the agreement have not been disclosed by both the companies. However, It clearly indicates that Microsoft will be benefited in form of royalties to be received from Quanta under the agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.

The patent agreement by Microsoft is an example of the  important role Intellectual Property plays in ensuring healthy as well as vibrant IT environment to various companies. Since, the launch of IP licensing program in December, 2003, Microsoft has entered into more than 700 licensing agreement. Company’s IP licensing policy stats:

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  • Application to Academics: Microsoft provides IP license only to those institutions which are bona fide. It provides license to encourage non-commercial research as well as educational activities. Company provides royalty-free agreement to the institutions.
  • Application to software developer kits (SDKs): Microsoft recognizes that in the past independent software vendors (ISVs), as a part of the SDK program for developing software which runs on the window platform. Then it provides license to the respective company.
  • Application to existing standards commitments:  As a major participant in many industry standards bodies, Microsoft frequently contributes technology and know-how to these organizations. Many of these organizations have well-defined policies that specify how patents and other IP should be licensed in the standard-setting context. Microsoft will continue to comply with all applicable policies when participating in industry standards processes, including the contribution of technology to standards bodies under “reasonable and non discriminatory” (RAND) terms, either on a for-fee, or royalty-free basis, as defined by each standards group.

The IP program was developed in order to provide open access to Microsoft significant R&D.

Last year, Microsoft had signed a similar patent agreement with mobile handset manufacturer HTC to run on Android mobile platform. Microsoft has enjoyed $160 million benefit form much-talked agreement.

“HTC and Microsoft have a long history of technical and commercial collaboration, and today’s agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercial arrangements that address intellectual property”. “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with HTC.” says Horacio Gutierrez – Corporate vice president and Deputy General Counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.

Few weeks back Microsoft signed another deal with Samsung for cross-licensing patent, in order to develop Windows Phone. Interestingly, the deal also covers that Microsoft will get royalties from Samsung’s mobile and tablets which is running on Android mobile platform. In addition company is ready to co-operate in the development and marketing efforts for Windows phone.

Microsoft has also signed a similar patent deal with Wistron, an Acer spin-off company. They both also manufactures products which are sold under different brand name in market. Company had not disclosed the terms which was signed under the agreement by both the companies.

Hope all such agreements will be fruitful for Microsoft as well as other companies and we expect to see more companies joining Microsoft to develop many more valuable apps by leveraging on such crucial patents.

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