Microsoft Strikes Broad Patent Deal with Fuji Xerox

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-03-22 Print this article Print

Executives from both companies praised the deal for the interoperability advances it would facilitate and the ability to access one another's broad patent portfolios.

Microsoft has struck a patent agreement with Fuji Xerox that gives the Redmond software maker access to broad patents relating to document management systems that it can use in existing and future products.

For its part, Fuji Xerox—which is owned by FujiFilm Holdings and Xerox and provides business solutions that enhance the management and utilization of documents, from analog and digital data to graphics and movies—gets access to Microsofts large patent portfolio related to software and computer hardware innovations.
Fuji Xerox will be able to use this patented technology in both its proprietary and open-source products.
Fuji Xerox invests in research and development relating to document management systems and maintains a broad patent portfolio, including patents in the United States and Japan, while Microsoft maintains many patents related to software and computer hardware innovations. While the deal allows both companies to receive compensation from their patent portfolios, the specific financial and other non-monetary provisions of the deal were not disclosed. Click here to read more about how Microsofts patent disputes with Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T have made waves. Executives from both companies praised the deal and the interoperability advances it would facilitate. "We are pleased to be able to reach a broad, mutually beneficial patent agreement with Microsoft that respects each companys patent portfolio, encourages greater interoperability and provides valuable protection for the customers of each companys products and services," said Kiyoshi Saito, the senior vice president of Fuji Xerox. Brad Smith, Microsofts senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, said that both parties had a strong commitment to innovation, and this broad patent agreement would "give us both the freedom to continue developing and building technologies that will ultimately work better together." The agreement was also a further example of Microsofts "desire to share our innovations with other companies and build a stronger IT ecosystem through access to intellectual property," he said. Is Microsoft violating some patents covering open source? Click here to read more. Last November, Microsoft and Novell entered into a controversial technical cooperation agreement to facilitate interoperability between their products. They also signed a covenant not to sue one anothers customers over patent infringement. Over the past few years, Microsoft has also strengthened the intellectual property protection it affords customers and partners. In 2006, Microsoft moved to strengthen and broaden the protections it offered those OEMs and distributors across the globe that build and sell devices powered by its Windows Embedded and Windows Mobile software. Novells CEO says he has no regrets about the Microsoft deal. Click here to read more. In 2005, the company strengthened the indemnification it provided to all the PC manufacturers it works with, from the larger OEMs and smaller OEM System Builder partners to OEM distributors and ISV Royalty partners. In November 2004, Microsoft extended its IP protection for customers by taking coverage previously available only to volume licensees and making it available to all users; while, in 2003, it removed monetary caps for volume licensees. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel