Microsoft and Lexmark Enter Broad Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement
Microsoft Corp. and Lexmark International, Inc. signed a patent cross-licensing agreement that furthers the development of each company's product lines and will expand technological innovation to enhance the overall customer experience.
The patent cross-licensing agreement covers a broad range of products, including Lexmark printers and multifunction products, and Microsoft software products. The agreement allows greater mutual access to each partner's respective patent portfolio. The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.
"We believe that intellectual property (IP) licensing, especially during tough economic times, is an empowering way to foster collaboration and bring product differentiation to consumers," said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft. "Because both Microsoft and Lexmark have access to an extensive range of technologies, this agreement will allow each company to shorten its development cycle and increase its focus on customer-related innovation."
Lexmark is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of printing and imaging solutions for offices and homes. Its products include laser printers, inkjet printers, multifunction devices and associated supplies, which are sold in more than 150 countries in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Rim.
"This agreement allows both companies to benefit from sharing the innovation in our respective patent portfolios," said Marty Canning, Lexmark vice president and president of its Printing Solutions and Services Division. "We believe this agreement will improve the productivity of both our businesses and result in enhanced product offerings and increased satisfaction for all our customers."
Recently, Microsoft's patent portfolio was given the year-end top quality rating in the IT industry by two of the leading independent patent-quality rating systems. Lexmark's patent portfolio has been included in IEEE Spectrum magazine's list of the top patent portfolios in the computer peripherals and storage industry.
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. More information about Microsoft's licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.