Toshiba and Microsoft have signed a cross-licensing patent pact covering IT and consumer electronics technologies in an effort to avoid potential legal wrangles over new products.
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The deal allows both companies to freely use an unspecified number of each other’s patents and is part of a trend among suppliers attempting to stay out of the courtroom, as the number of technology patents awarded each year increases rapidly.
Microsoft already has cross-licensing deals with the SAP and Siemens, and Sony has an agreement with Samsung.
Toshiba was recently ordered to pay Lexar Media $380m (£205m) in damages in a dispute over flash memory technology patents.