Microsoft, Casio Ink Patent Licensing Deal Over Linux

By Joseph Mandour on September 27, 2011

linux-177x164 Los Angeles – Casio, an international electronic devices manufacturer, has signed a patent-licensing deal with Microsoft that will allow the company to continue selling products with the computer operating system Linux.

“We’re pleased to reach an agreement and to see continued recognition of the value of our patent portfolio, particularly as it relates to our operating systems,” stated Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s intellectual property division.

The financial terms of the agreement were not available, but Casio has reportedly agreed to pay Microsoft licensing fees for patents that are specifically related to the use of Linux. Information regarding the products that are covered in the deal was not disclosed. The relationship between Microsoft and Casio has existed for years with Casio currently utilizing Microsoft software in its industrial handheld terminals and business information systems.

The Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has been negotiating licensing deals with electronics manufacturers since 2003, with an impressive portfolio of more than 700 deals in place. Many of those deals involve the licensing of the Linux operating system. Although Microsoft does not own Linux, the software giant claims that the unauthorized use of the operating systems violates its patents, thus forcing the issue of the licensing deals to avoid litigation.

The Casio agreement is just the latest in a slew of licensing deals for Microsoft. The deals have even involved mobile communications companies with Microsoft announcing that it had entered into an agreement with Acer Mobile earlier this month. In that particular multi-year deal, Microsoft will collect licensing fees from Acer, which will allow the mobile phone and media device company to sell tablets and smartphones running the Android technology. Microsoft has also acquired deals with ViewSonic and HTC and other Android vendors.

However, not all companies have been quick to sign on the dotted line. Both Barnes & Noble and Motorola Mobility have refused to sign agreements over their use of Android. The companies are currently embroiled in separate patent infringement lawsuits with Microsoft.

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Posted in: Patent Registration