Microsoft signs Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement with Nikon

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Picture 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12The press release doesn’t say a whole lot about what the two companies will be doing together, but we do know that MS is being compensated by Nikon for an undisclosed sum. The two juggernauts in their respective industries are hoping this agreement will further advance each company’s current and upcoming product lines. This directly impacts Nikon’s digital cameras as well as other consumer products from both companies. Previous endeavors between the two companies have produced RAW processing technologies and wireless cameras.

But, this isn’t the first such agreement that Microsoft has gone into. In fact, in the last two years they’ve entered similar agreements with Alpine, Fuji Xerox, Kenwood, Pentax, Samsung, Seiko Epson, Victor (JVC), Novell, Kyocera, LG, NEC, Nortel, Olympus, and Onkyo.

REDMOND, Wash. and TOKYO, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Microsoft
Corp. and Nikon Corp. have signed a patent cross-licensing agreement to
further the development of each company’s current and future product lines.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

The agreement covers digital cameras made by Nikon as well as a broad
range of other consumer products each company manufactures and sells. The
agreement was signed by representatives from both companies at Microsoft’s
headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Although the contents of the agreement have
not been disclosed, the parties indicated that Microsoft is being
compensated by Nikon.

Microsoft and Nikon have a long history of collaborating to bring
high-quality, cutting-edge consumer products to the market, including
wireless cameras and RAW processing technologies. The companies believe
that this patent cross-licensing agreement will substantially benefit
customers of consumer products including digital cameras. Both parties will
be able to innovate openly with each other’s technologies, enabling new
features and products to come to market.

“This agreement will extend and enhance our already successful,
long-standing collaboration with Nikon, and will allow us to provide even
better products to our customers,” said Josh Weisberg, director of the Rich
Media Group at Microsoft.

“This agreement is another great example of how industry leaders are
coming together to collaborate through intellectual property licensing, and
by doing so enabling innovation that will ultimately benefit the consumer,”
said Horacio Gutierrez, vice president of intellectual property and
licensing at Microsoft. “We are proud of the quality of our broad, global
patent portfolio, and we are pleased to be working with an industry leader
such as Nikon.”

“At Nikon, we want to continue to lead the industry in pioneering
photography solutions and give our customers access to innovative
technology,” said Naoki Tomino, director, member of the board and General
Manager of Intellectual Property Headquarters at Nikon. “This agreement is
a natural extension of our long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and
we look forward to collaborating and bringing exciting new products to the
market.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Technology

The licensing agreement is another example of the important role IP
plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft
launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered
into more than 500 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 research and development investments and its growing, broad
patent and IP portfolio. Over the past two years, Microsoft has entered
into similar agreements with Alpine Electronics Inc., Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd.,
Kenwood Corp., Kyocera Mita Corp., LG Electronics, NEC Corp., Nortel
Networks, Novell Inc., Olympus Corp., Onkyo Corp., Pentax, Samsung, Seiko
Epson Corp. and Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC).

More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at

http://www.microsoft.com/ip.

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