Microsoft and HP have renewed a patent cross-license agreement to further the development of each company's research and development efforts and expand technological innovation based in each company's respective intellectual property.
The patent cross-license renewal represents the third such agreement between the two companies. And though the agreement covers a broad range of products and provides each company greater access to the other's patent portfolio, the companies did not disclose specific terms of the agreement.
In a statement on the new agreement, David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft, said: "This agreement with HP is a demonstration of Microsoft's continued commitment to making our IP more readily available to our business partners and the ecosystem at large. Patent cross-licensing is beneficial because it clears the way for companies to create stronger partnerships and innovate in a more open environment that is good for business, and ultimately benefits customers and end users."
A patent cross-licensing agreement is an agreement where two or more parties grant a license to each other to use the intellectual property claimed in the patents that each party owns.
Patent cross-licensing clears the way for companies to create stronger partnerships and innovate in a more open environment that is good for business and that ultimately benefits customers and end users, Microsoft said. This agreement is a demonstration of both companies' commitments to making their intellectual property more readily available to their business partners and the technology industry at large, the company said.
According to the IEEE patents scorecard, in 2007 Microsoft had 1,649 patents and HP had 1,466 patents, placing them among the top five patent leaders in the high technology industry.
The companies' May 20 patent cross-licensing announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft and HP enhancing the Frontline partnership with a new agreement to deliver an end-to-end unified communications and collaboration solution.