Microsoft, Amazon strike patent licensing deal

The agreement covers Amazon's use of Linux and other open-source software

Amazon.com has agreed to pay Microsoft an undisclosed sum as part of a patent cross-licensing deal between the companies announced on Monday.

The agreement gives each company access to the other's patent portfolio and covers a wide range of products and technologies, Microsoft said in a statement.

Among them, the agreement will shield Amazon from patent litigation against its Kindle e-reader, which includes some open-source software components, and against its use of Linux-based servers, Microsoft said.

Microsoft has asserted in the past that Linux and other open-source software may violate hundreds of its technology patents. The assertion angered open-source advocates, in part because Microsoft did not disclose the patents it said were being infringed.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has signed patent deals with several vendors that include coverage for their use of Linux and open source, including Novell, LG Electronics and Fuji Xerox. The deals are part of a broader IP licensing program that Microsoft kicked off in 2002.

Early last year Microsoft sued TomTom, a maker of in-car navigation systems, for allegedly violating eight of its patents, including three related to TomTom's implementation of Linux. TomTom paid to settle the suit.

Monday's statement doesn't refer to any specific Microsoft products covered by the Amazon agreement. Terms of the deal are confidential, Microsoft said, and a company spokesman declined to comment further.

Microsoft said its licensing program is designed to give other companies access to its research and development efforts and its growing portfolio of patents. It has entered into more than 600 licensing deals since 2002, it said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags amazonMicrosoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?