Canon, Microsoft agree to cross-license their patent portfolios


posted Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 5:29 PM EST


We don't cover news of too many patent licensing agreements here at the Imaging Resource, because they can be rather on the dull side. A new agreement announced earlier this week, though, strikes us as rather more interesting than most. That's because of the parties involved in the agreement, Canon and Microsoft.

Both are heavyweights in their particular fields: Canon as the world's largest maker of standalone cameras, and Microsoft as the world's largest software company. Both companies also have a significant market presence in other categories, as well, and they're also known as prodigious patent filers. In the US alone, Canon received some 3,137 patents in 2012, and Microsoft around 2,610 patents. For the last six years running, both companies have placed in the top six US patent recipients.

An agreement between Canon and Microsoft to cross-license even a part of their patent portfolio would be likely to have an impact on their respective product offerings. Terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but it's described as a "broad patent cross-licensing agreement", suggesting that a significant portion of each company's portfolio is available to the other. We can't wait to see what's in store with these two companies cooperating!