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Nikon has signed a licensing deal with Microsoft to cover the use of patented technologies in its Android-based cameras. The deal is the latest instance of Microsoft pursuing makers of Android devices, claiming patent infringement. Despite free access being one of the founding ideas of Google's Android operating system, Microsoft has been increasingly successful in convincing manufacturers of Android devices that they need to strike licensing deals for some of its technologies.
Embarrassingly, these companies include Motorola - now owned by Google - which signed a licensing deal when it appeared a court was going to rule in Microsoft's favor.
Agreement covers certain Nikon cameras running the Android platform.
REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 21, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. and Nikon Corporation have signed a patent licensing agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for certain Nikon cameras running the Android platform. While the contents of the agreement will not be disclosed, Microsoft will receive royalties from Nikon.
“Microsoft and Nikon have a long history of collaboration, and this agreement further demonstrates the value that both companies place on responsible IP licensing,” said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing at Microsoft. “Microsoft is proud to align with a leader in the digital camera industry to license Android technology for the benefit of Nikon’s customers.”
Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property
The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. Microsoft’s specific patent licensing program for Android device makers has resulted in signed license agreements with numerous companies including Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer and Barnes & Noble.
More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.