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Microsoft and Nikon ink cross-licensing agreement  
Thursday, August 28, 2008 | by Rob Galbraith
Microsoft and Nikon have announced a patent cross-licensing agreement in which they agree to share unspecified technologies in future products from each company. As part of the deal, Nikon will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount of money.

More information is in the press release below.

Press Release

Microsoft and Nikon Enter Into Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement
Agreement furthers Microsoft and Nikon collaboration on new products and features in digital imaging.

REDMOND, Wash., and TOKYO — Aug. 27, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. and Nikon Corp. have signed a patent cross-licensing agreement to further the development of each company’s current and future product lines.
The agreement covers digital cameras made by Nikon as well as a broad range of other consumer products each company manufactures and sells. The agreement was signed by representatives from both companies at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicated that Microsoft is being compensated by Nikon.

Microsoft and Nikon have a long history of collaborating to bring high-quality, cutting-edge consumer products to the market, including wireless cameras and RAW processing technologies. The companies believe that this patent cross-licensing agreement will substantially benefit customers of consumer products including digital cameras. Both parties will be able to innovate openly with each other’s technologies, enabling new features and products to come to market.

“This agreement will extend and enhance our already successful, long-standing collaboration with Nikon, and will allow us to provide even better products to our customers,” said Josh Weisberg, director of the Rich Media Group at Microsoft.

“This agreement is another great example of how industry leaders are coming together to collaborate through intellectual property licensing, and by doing so enabling innovation that will ultimately benefit the consumer,” said Horacio Gutierrez, vice president of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft. “We are proud of the quality of our broad, global patent portfolio, and we are pleased to be working with an industry leader such as Nikon.”

“At Nikon, we want to continue to lead the industry in pioneering photography solutions and give our customers access to innovative technology,” said Naoki Tomino, director, member of the board and General Manager of Intellectual Property Headquarters at Nikon. “This agreement is a natural extension of our long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and we look forward to collaborating and bringing exciting new products to the market.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Technology
The licensing agreement is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 500 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant research and development investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. Over the past two years, Microsoft has entered into similar agreements with Alpine Electronics Inc., Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd., Kenwood Corp., Kyocera Mita Corp., LG Electronics, NEC Corp., Nortel Networks, Novell Inc., Olympus Corp., Onkyo Corp., Pentax, Samsung, Seiko Epson Corp. and Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC).

More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/ip.

About Nikon
Nikon has carved out a place as a pioneer of optical technology in Japan and the world since its inception in 1917. Today, Nikon commands a high global standing in the manufacture and sale of camera-related products, such as digital cameras, as well as binoculars and other optical products for consumers, such as ophthalmic lenses. These items complement our diverse array of industrial precision equipment that includes semiconductor-related equipment, IC and LCD steppers and scanners, microscopes and measuring instruments.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


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