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Microsoft signs Linux and Android patent licensing agreement with Rakuten

Microsoft is a patent machine, with patents covering virtually all aspects of computer technology from wearables to stackable computer components. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the company has a number of licensing agreements covering their and other companies’ patents, to avoid the sort of nasty litigation that has seen Samsung and Apple fighting it out in the courts. Today, Microsoft announced yet another patent licensing agreement, this one with Internet company Rakuten, Inc.

The agreement covers each company’s consumer electronics products, with an apparent focus on Linux and Android devices. According to Microsoft:

Our agreement with Rakuten reinforces the opportunities that cross-licensing can bring to companies across the technology spectrum,” said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing. “We’re pleased to have found a mutually beneficial path of collaboration that will ultimately benefit consumers.

And here’s Rakuten’s perspective:

This agreement gives us the freedom to bring our customers new and exciting products, while jointly recognizing the value of patented innovation,” said Akio Sugihara, managing executive officer and director of Rakuten.

We’d love to provide more details on the specific terms of the agreement, but Microsoft and Rakuten are holding them close to the vest. In any case, Microsoft continues to work hard to handle any potential patent conflicts through relatively friendly agreements rather than the courts.

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What do you think of Microsoft's approach to handling potential patent conflicts?