Despite claiming that Linux infringes on over 235 of its patents for a number of years now, Microsoft has always promised to deal with competitors that make Linux-based products with a fair degree of restraint. Of course, this only applies as long as such competitors don’t “free ride on our innovations” and refuse to sign licensing deals (case in point: Motorola). Anyways, this approach seems to be producing the desired results as more and more companies are falling in line. The latest company to sign a Linux patent-protection deal with Microsoft happens to be Casio.
The two companies announced Tuesday that they have “entered into a broad, multiyear patent cross-licensing agreement that, among other things, will provide Casio’s customers with patent coverage for their use of Linux in certain Casio devices.” According to the press release, this deal builds on an already strong relationship between the two companies. But we are not sure if that’s how Casio truly feels about this deal.
“We’re pleased to reach an agreement and to see continued recognition of the value of our patent portfolio, particularly as it relates to operating systems,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.
Even though the press release did confirm that Microsoft is being compensated by Casio, the exact amount and the terms of the deal remain confidential. But for those of you who love numbers, it did go onto reveal that this deal is the latest in over 700 licensing agreements the Redmond outfit has signed since the launch of its IP licensing program in December 2003.