Microsoft-Google pact brings end to patent wars

Microsoft and Google have settled 18 patent infringement litigation cases against each other after agreeing to bury the hatchet.

The companies said the deal puts an end to protracted court fights involving a variety of technologies that impact upon products including mobile phones, Wi-Fi and Microsoft's Xbox consoles.

The agreement also includes litigation involving Motorola, which Google purchased in 2012. The company was subsequently sold on to Lenovo last year minus its patents which the search giant kept to itself.

In addition to legal battles, the two companies compete on a number of fronts including mobile phones, search engines and media platforms.

A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed that while the agreement brings an end to their current patent infringement cases around the world, it does not preclude the companies from launching further challenges in the future. The financial terms of the new deal were not revealed.

In a joint statement, the companies said: "Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers."

The firms said they have been cooperating on such issues as the development of a unified patent court for the European Union and on royalty-free technology for speeding up video on the Internet.

The agreement is reminiscent of a similar deal that was reached by Samsung and Apple last year to drop all non-US patent litigation.

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