The two major technology giants, Microsoft and Google in a historic move have released a joined statement stating that both the companies have reached “an agreement on patent issues.” This agreement amounts to the dismissal of all the patent claims filed by each company against the other, including the Motorola cases, rendering them null and void for good. Looking back into the past, Motorola was sued by Microsoft in 2010, for patent infringement and Google inherited all the lawsuits when it acquired Motorola in 2011. Motorola counter-sued Google in the following year as well, which led to the long drawn out patent war among two of the most iconic companies in the technology world.
Microsoft has had a previous history of suing other companies over patents, and Motorola/Google is not the only one. One of the latest victims were Kyocera when Microsoft claimed that the company was infringing Microsoft’s patents in three of the low-cost Android models. The three models include Duraforce, Hydro, and Brigadier. A notable point is most Android maker was accustomed to paying Microsoft royalty, a major exception being Motorola, who was still fighting the patent claim. Samsung had also settled a disagreement over the patent licensing issue, by shelling out almost $1 billion per year in exchange for patent protection from Microsoft.
In the quarrel between Motorola and Google, Microsoft’s claim was that Motorola was demanding an outrageous $4 billion a year in royalties from the Xbox. Microsoft was also accused of not participating in pledges to fairly license patents on the underlying technology. The case against Motorola, on the other hand, involved a familiar feature called ActiveSync that lets users synchronize the changes in the calendars on their phones and laptops. Microsoft managed to obtain an order blocking the feature on Motorola phones that were imported into the US, but the law was never enforced by US Customs officials.
As the relationship between the companies get more cordial, a new era of co-operative development of technology is coming, which is seen as a high sign by many including Sameet Sinha, an analyst at B. Riley and Co. Even though the agreement is only about patents, and the two companies are still competitors when it comes to the launch of new products, this agreement marks a new amity between technology companies which can fast forward development a lot in the coming years.