Google and Microsoft have agreed to a patent battle truce, ending five years of legal disputes concerning mobile, WiFi, software and other technologies.
The two firms have traded 18 lawsuits between them in recent years over a patent dispute stemming from Google's acquisition of Motorola's Mobility division in 2011, despite the company selling it on to Lenovo in 2014.
The patent battle was sparked in 2010 when Microsoft accused Motorola of infringing its obligation to offer licences to its wireless and video patents, used in Xbox game consoles, at an acceptable price.
Microsoft and Google revealed in a joint statement that they have now reached an agreement on the series of disputes that followed the intial case.
"As part of the agreement, the companies will dismiss all pending patent infringement litigation between them, including cases related to Motorola Mobility," they said.
"Separately, Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers."
The détente does not preclude any future patent clashes, but significantly reduces the tension and should allow both companies to concentrate on capitalising on their patent portfolios. Neither company revealed any financial details behind the agreement.
Patent battles between some of the world's largest technology companies are common, and victorious lawsuits are rebuffed in appeals or filed in other courts or nations.
Patent struggles between Apple and Samsung are particularly hefty, and the two companies have sued and countersued in courts across the US and abroad.
The battle between the brands has since escalated, culminating with Samsung winning the support of Facebook, Google, HP and Dell against Apple.
The laws and rules surrounding patent rights and licensing can be an obtuse at best, which is likely why so many disputes erupt between technology firms.
IBM, Microsoft, ARM and other prominent technology and engineering firms have joined forces to back the Open Register of Patent Ownership dedicated to injecting more transparency and clarity into patent ownership and the protection of intellectual property.
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