Microsoft appears to be in a peacemaking mood lately. A day after Microsoft and Google reached a deal to drop all pending patent infringement lawsuits, Microsoft announced a truce of sorts with AsusTek Computer Inc., the company behind Asus smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.
As part of what Microsoft calls an “expansion of an earlier patent licensing agreement between the two companies,” Asus will ship its Android smartphones and tablets with preinstalled with Microsoft Office productivity services, according to Microsoft’s announcement.
The deal puts Asus in the same boat as other vendors reaching similar licensing agreements with Microsoft to steer clear of prolonged litigation woes. Samsung, for instance, reached a deal with Microsoft earlier this year to settle a patent dispute. In May, Samsung joined other Android device manufacturers by bundling Microsoft Office apps and service on their devices. Sony and LG reached similar agreements with Microsoft around that time.
Asus was one of the Android device makers sued for patent infringement by a patent consortium owned by Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, according to ZDNet.
“This agreement delivers significant value for both companies,” said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC. “Beyond ensuring continued improvements to our products, it opens the door to the kind of collaboration between Microsoft and Asus made possible only through mutual respect and alignment on intellectual property.”
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