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Microsoft inks Android patent deal with Sharp

07 Aug 2012
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Sharp Corporation has entered into a deal with Microsoft to license a file storage technology for mobile devices.

The company said that under the deal, Sharp will gain a licence from Microsoft to run exFAT technology on Android devices. The move will allow Sharp to offer the mobile file system as a storage feature.

According to Microsoft, the use of exFAT software will improve interoperability and file migration performance between handsets and PCs as well as increase the maximum file size and storage capacities on mobile devices.

"Consumers today move from mobile phones, to PCs, to home entertainment systems throughout their day — and they expect their media to move as seamlessly across those devices as they do," said Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property Horacio Gutierrez.

"This agreement allows Sharp to continue to stay ahead of the curve and give people around the world entertainment and productivity experiences that truly fit their lifestyles."

The deal is the latest in a string of licensing deals Microsoft has struck with vendors and developers in recent months. Other deals include cross-licensing agreements with AOL and Facebook which are believed to have added up to over $1.5bn.

While vendors such as Apple and Samsung have asked for outright product bans in their infringement claims, Microsoft has instead opted to push for licensing deals with vendors it believes infringe on its patent holdings.

The strategy has been met with harsh criticism from rival firms such as Google, who have accused Microsoft with running a network of "patent troll" firms in hopes of pushing companies to pay additional fees for licences.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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