Microsoft, TomTom settle patent disputes

Microsoft and TomTom announced on Monday that they have reached a settlement in their respective patent suits. Looks like Microsoft is the winner.

Microsoft and TomTom announced on Monday that they have reached a settlement in their respective patent suits.

As part of the deal, TomTom will pay Microsoft for coverage for the software maker's mapping-related patents as well as the file management patents that Microsoft claimed were infringed by TomTom's use of the Linux kernel. Microsoft will also get access to the TomTom patents that were cited in TomTom's countersuit against Microsoft, although Microsoft won't be making any payment to TomTom.

In a statement, the two companies said that the settlement provides TomTom patent coverage "in a manner that is fully compliant with TomTom's obligations under the General Public Lucense Version 2." As part of the agreement, TomTom will "remove from its products the functionality related to two file management systems patents," over the next two years. The agreement protects TomTom's customers under the patents during that time, the companies said.

The settlement has a five-year term. Additional specific financial terms were not disclosed, the company said.

"We are pleased TomTom has chosen to resolve the litigation amicably by entering into a patent agreement," Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement.

Microsoft filed its legal actions against TomTom last month. Attention in the case centered around the Linux claims as it marked the first time that Microsoft had filed court papers with its long-held assertion that Linux infringes on its intellectual property.

Although the pact settles things for TomTom, it leaves unresolved Microsoft's broader claims against Linux, The software maker has refused to say what actions it might take against other companies that use Linux commercially.

This article was originally posted on CNET News.

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