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Appeared on: Friday, May 13, 2005
Toshiba, Microsoft reach comprehensive cross-licensing pact

Toshiba Corp and U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp have signed a comprehensive cross-licensing agreement for mutual use of patents, in a move among to expedite product development and avoid patent disputes.

The pact allows Microsoft and Toshiba, the world's third-largest notebook computer manufacturer, to use each other's patents on computer and digital electronics technologies, a Microsoft spokesman in Japan said Friday. The deal will allow the two companies to save time and costs for developing digital consumer electronics.

Toshiba said the deal would eliminate lengthy negotiations and patent costs when they planned to use each other's technologies.

The alliance follows a more far-reaching agreement last year between Sony and Samsung.

Toshiba and Microsoft intend to take advantage of the pact for accelerating the development of flat-screen televisions, DVD recorders and players, personal computers and other digital consumer electronics to survive intensifying competition in the industry.

The Japanese and South Korean electronics giants said in December they had agreed to share patents on basic technology to speed up product development and avoid adding to a growing number of patent disputes.

The fast-paced market for digital electronics and intensifying competition are prompting makers to rethink their product development strategies and seek cross-border alliances in an effort to reduce time to market.


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