updated 12:00 am EDT, Thu August 28, 2008
Microsoft Nikon agreement
Microsoft and Nikon on Thursday announced that they have signed a cross-licensing patent agreement on Nikon's digital camera patents as well as consumer electronics patents from each company. The details of the agreement, which covers a "broad range" of consumer products from each company, does include some (undisclosed) compensation by Nikon. Looking to innovate on each other's technologies, the companies have previously collaborated on bringing wireless cameras and RAW processing and said that that the new patent cross-licensing agreement will "substantially benefit customers of consumer products including digital cameras."
On the heels of the release of its much-anticipated D90 digital camera with HD video functions, Nikon suggested that the the licensing agreement with the world's largest software maker could bring some "exciting" new products to Nikon's portfolio.
"At Nikon, we want to continue to lead the industry in pioneering photography solutions and give our customers access to innovative technology," said Naoki Tomino, director, member of the board and General Manager of Intellectual Property Headquarters at Nikon. "This agreement is a natural extension of our long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and we look forward to collaborating and bringing exciting new products to the market."
Microsoft said its IP licensing program has inked over 500 licensing agreements in nearly 5 years, with companies such as Fuji Xerox, LG Electronics, Samsung, Epson, and Nikon's competitors Olympus and Pentax.