Microsoft, Samsung Sign Patent Deal

Microsoft Corp. entered into a broad patent licensing agreement with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. aimed at speeding product development efforts for both companies, they said Thursday.

For Microsoft, it's the latest deal aimed at sharing patents to further product development. The software giant has announced several agreements over the past year with companies including Linux software developer Novell Inc. and Japan's NEC Corp. and Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. The company says it has sought patent agreements related to consumer electronics, telecommunications, computer hardware and Linux/Unix software.

Microsoft will gain access to a wide range of existing and future Samsung patents through the deal, including patents for computers, set-top-boxes, digital music players, camcorders and other products. Samsung published more patents in the U.S. last year than any other company.

Samsung will be able to use Microsoft patents in its own products and software, and gain protection from Microsoft for its customer's use of certain Linux-based products, the companies said in a joint statement.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the companies said they will receive payments.

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