Google and Microsoft have abruptly ended their long-running patent war.
The two tech giants have dropped some 20 lawsuits that were in progress in the US and Germany.
These lawsuits concerned various alleged patent transgressions relating to smartphones and video game systems. Some of these stretch back five years, when Microsoft claimed that Google’s Android OS was using Microsoft technology without paying due royalties.
Another key source of tension, as pointed out by Bloomberg, was Motorola Mobility. Google’s former smartphone hardware arm was demanding royalties from Microsoft for its Xbox games console, while Microsoft in turn was attacking Motorola’s use of certain smartphone technologies.
Indeed, Google’s 2011 acquisition of Motorola was widely attributed to the internet giant wishing to protect itself with the mobile phone pioneer’s enviable roster of patents, rather than any great desire to get into the hardware business.
Motorola has since been moved on to Lenovo, of course, but Google still has access to its patents – and the acrimony with Microsoft has continued.
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Now, however, the two companies have opted to kiss and make up. In fact, they intend to work together on key initiatives. “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,” reads a joint statement.
This new peaceful relationship can also be tracked to Microsoft’s current conciliatory and collaborative tone, following the appointment of Satya Nadella as its latest CEO.
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