Microsoft Inks Patent-Licensing Agreement With Aspen Avionics

Microsoft signed a patent-licensing deal with Aspen Avionics for use of Microsoft's Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) technology.

Microsoft and Aspen Avionics have signed a patent-licensing agreement that gives Aspen broad access to the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT).

exFAT is a modern file system from Microsoft that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and other electronic devices. The agreement is the latest forged by Microsoft for exFAT and the first in the avionics and commercial sector.

Microsoft has entered into similar exFAT patent-licensing agreements with several leading consumer electronics manufacturers through its intellectual-property licensing program, including Panasonic Corp., Sanyo Electric Company Ltd., Sony Corp. and Canon Inc.

exFAT improves on its predecessor, the FAT file system, and greatly expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle by more than five times over the previous technology, Microsoft said. It also greatly increases the speed with which those files can be accessed.

Aspen specializes in bringing advanced technology and capability into general aviation cockpits. Its products increase situational awareness and reduce pilot workload, helping to make it easier and safer to fly. Aspen€™s flagship product line is the Evolution Flight Display system, a glass cockpit system certified for general aviation aircraft.

€œInnovative avionics requires a modern file system, such as exFAT, that can handle significantly larger file sizes to display richer data than legacy file systems could handle,€ David Kaefer, general manager of intellectual-property licensing at Microsoft, said in a statement. €œThis agreement with Aspen Avionics highlights how exFAT can help directly address the specific needs of customers in the aviation industry, and we€™re delighted to make exFAT available to the company through our intellectual-property-licensing program.€

Microsoft offers flexible IP-licensing programs that give companies access to many of the foundational technologies in its own products, allowing those companies to build devices, applications and services that work seamlessly with one another.

Since Microsoft launched its IP-licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft€™s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

Just last month, AOL agreed to sell more than 800 of its patents and their related patent applications to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and to grant Microsoft a nonexclusive license to its retained patent portfolio for around $1.1 billion. Then two weeks later, Facebook announced a deal with Microsoft where, for $550 million, the social networking giant would acquire a portion of the patents Microsoft recently acquired from AOL.