Microsoft has entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement with Dell that will enable the duo “to share technology and build on each other’s innovations.” Without disclosing too many details, the companies said they have agreed to license each company’s applicable intellectual property related to three product lines: Android, Chrome OS and Xbox.
As part of the deal, the duo agreed on “royalties for Dell’s products running the Android or Chrome platforms and on consideration to Dell for a license for Xbox gaming consoles.”
Analysts claim that the software giant captures billions of dollars per year from Android patent royalties. As many as 20 big-name players, including Samsung, LG and HTC, have already agreed to pay Microsoft a royalty on Android smartphones that Microsoft claims may infringe its (undisclosed) patents.
Unlike many of the other Android and Chrome OS patent deals, what makes the March 26 agreement different is its cross-licensing patent nature.
“Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We have been partnering with technology manufacturers and vendors for many years to craft licensing deals, instead of litigation strategies.”
“Today’s announcement builds on our history of collaborating to bring new technologies to market. The relationship between Dell and Microsoft continues to help Dell deliver choice and flexibility to customers looking for the best technology to meet their needs,” said Neil Hand, vice president, End User Computing Products at Dell.