Microsoft and LG in mobile and console patents pact

3 Nov 2008

Microsoft and Korean technology giant LG Electronics have entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement to boost both companies’ future product lines in the areas of mobile devices, computing and games consoles.

The deal will be part of a series of patent agreements Microsoft is pushing to forge with other owners of intellectual property (IP) in the areas of consumer electronics, telecoms and computer hardware.

In the past 12 months, Microsoft has also announced similar deals with companies such as Fuji Xerox, NEC, Nortel Networks, Novell, Samsung and Seiko Epson.

Future Human

Under the agreement, LG will be able to use Microsoft patented technologies in its products, including Linux-based embedded devices.

In return, Microsoft will have access LG’s patents, as well as patents owned by MicroConnect Group.

“This agreement is another example of how Microsoft is continuing to build bridges with others in the industry through IP licensing,” said Horacio Gutierrez, vice-president, Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.

“We are pleased to be working with an industry leader and partner like LG Electronics to meet our mutual business goals and customer needs.”

The financial terms of the agreement haven’t been disclosed, but it is understood Microsoft will make a balancing payment to LG and MicroConnect for use of patents relating to operating systems and computer systems.

LG Electronics will also be making ongoing payments to Microsoft for use of its patents as they relate to Linux-based embedded devices that LG produces.

“This agreement and our good relationship with Microsoft enables LG to provide improved telecommunications solutions to our customers,” said Jeong Hwan Lee, executive vice-president of the Intellectual Property Center at LG.

“We believe that the licence arrangement with Microsoft provides appropriate recognition of the value of LG’s computer system-related patents, which includes patents directed to computer architecture utilised in game consoles and other products.

“We believe in the importance of respecting the IP rights of others, and that patent collaboration and protection is a best business practice the whole industry should be engaged in,” Lee said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years