Market Overview

Has Microsoft Redefined The Meaning of Cross-Licensing Agreements? (AMZN, MSFT, NOVL, HPQ, AAPL)


According to an article by Rick Aristotle Munarriz, published on The Motley Fool, the recent cross-licensing patent agreement between Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and (NASDAQ: AMZN) provides each tech giant access to the patent portfolio of the other company. While some people figured that the deal does not involve the leading online retailer trampling over the intellectual property of the world's largest software company, MSFT’s press release suggests otherwise. The press release indicates that MSFT is receiving payments from AMZN.

Although MSFT has not explicitly claimed infringement of its patents in the press release, it has suggested that since Amazon's Kindle and Linux servers are dependent on open source technology, Linux and general open-source software violate many of Miscrosoft’s active patents. Companies including Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and even Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have signed similar cross-licensing patent agreements with MSFT, instead of fighting against the wrong claim.

Munarriz says that these deals are actually nothing but a manner through which MSFT is cashing on its patents, but terming it as cross-licensing agreements, so as to not give another chance to the critics of MSFT’s CEO Steve Ballmer. Munarriz also stressed that people should not hope that MSFT would start offering Kindle-compatible readers or incorporate any proprietary features in its Zune or Xbox devices.

To read the full article, click here.

Posted-In: Motley Fool Rick Aristotle MunarrizNews Contracts Markets


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