Microsoft and Canon cross license mobile, imaging patents

Microsoft and Canon cross license mobile, imaging patents

Summary: Microsoft and Canon are cross licensing their respective mobile and digital imaging patent portfolios.

SHARE:

Microsoft and Canon announced a cross-licensing patent agreement on July 2 which involves an undisclosed number of primarily mobile and digital-imaging patents.

canonpatent

Neither company is disclosing the details of the agreement.

"This agreement covers a broad range of products and services each company offers, including certain digital imaging and mobile consumer products. Microsoft and Canon have a long history of collaborating to bring high-quality, cutting-edge products to consumers, including color technology," according to the Microsoft press release about the deal.

Today's patent agreement isn't the first forged by the two companies. Canon previously licensed Microsoft exFAT file system technology for an undisclosed amount.

Today's agreement also is not part of Microsoft's ongoing campaign to convince companies using Linux, Android and ChromeOS to license its patents. Nikon announced an Android-related patent licensing deal with Microsoft in February 2013.

Topics: Mobility, Legal, Microsoft, Patents

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

10 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • shame on Cannon

    for bowing under pressure from M$ and handing ca$h to the beast.
    LlNUX Geek
    • It was a deal for both companies

      "Today's agreement also is not part of Microsoft's ongoing campaign to convince companies using Linux, Android and ChromeOS to license its patents. Nikon announced an Android-related patent licensing deal with Microsoft in February 2013."

      Doesn't mean that Canon bowed down. Stop being such an anti-Microsoft moron. And CANON is spelled with one "N".
      rkegel@...
    • stupid comment

      canon is one of the largest patent holders in the world. MSFT is probably just below them in terms of number of IP they hold. For two giants, it makes sense to cross license since chances are both are infringing on each other's IP all the time and they stand to benefit more from this than from litigation.
      neonspark
    • You're wrong

      This is two companies working together friendly and properly and by the law without being overly dramatic (like you) and anti-consumer in their approach.
      Narg
  • Canon previously licensed Microsoft exFAT file system technology.

    Do we need a repeat of FAT? If I see a product's filesystem using exFAT I will return it.
    drwong
    • do you use an sd card?

      because that is good old fatty boy!
      neonspark
    • Clueless

      You have no idea what exFAT is do you?
      Narg
  • Maybe we'll see WinPhone apps for Canon cameras.

    I recently switched from Canon dSLRs to Sony. WinPhone apps (such as Scrap) let me contol the camera from my Lumina.
    Sweet.
    Geoff37
  • There could be a light at the end of this tunnel...

    The fact the the US Supreme Court recently re-addressed software patents is a move in the positive direction, even though it was not a large move. While much damage has already been done since these huge giants like Microsoft and IBM already have an enormous software patent portfolio, at least there is hope in future software patent releases. Eventually, technology will advance forward and the current software patent portfolios will probably start to become stale, at which point I can see the general public begin to feel the advantages if we make the right decisions today moving forward. But, we must end the monopolies that this huge companies get with their enormous patent portfolios. The trend in software patents granted within the past 30 years or so is staggering, just do some searches on this subject as it is well worth the reads. My hope is that we don't continue to make the same mistakes moving forward.
    Chris_Clay
  • Cross-licensing actually has antitrust implications

    Or so it seems to me. If, as seems to be the case, it's difficult to impossible to write non-trivial code without accidentally violating someone's patent, then the sorts of cross-licensing deals that MS has been advocating for the past decade or so have the effect of creating a de facto patent cartel with the authority to decide who is and is not allowed to write software (and on what terms).

    Hopefully, recent Supreme Court decisions will have the effect of eliminating accidental patent violations by invalidating all or nearly all trivial patents, but it hasn't happened yet. Of course, the three people with the most influence on the patenting process: the President, Secretary of Commerce, and Director of the USPTO could act right now to curtail permissive patent grants, but that doesn't seem terribly likely.
    John L. Ries