Microsoft has agreed to a patent-sharing deal with Brother, under which the printer firm will be given access to patents for use in designing multi-functional office devices and embedded software.
The patents will cover such subjects as Microsoft Office integration and embedded Linux systems. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Microsoft said that it would be receiving compensation from Brother.
"Our partners and customers continue to demand greater collaboration as they run increasingly diverse IT environments using technology and solutions that rely on both proprietary and open source code," said David Kaefer, Microsoft's general manager of intellectual property and licensing.
"This 'mixed source' world calls for sensible business arrangements between IT leaders to enable the use of software resulting from various development and business models."
The deal is the latest in a growing list of diverse, and occasionally controversial, patent-sharing agreements that Microsoft has secured in recent years. These include deals with Kyocera, Nikon and, perhaps most famously, Novell.
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