If you have been following day to day updates of the intellectual property domain, especially the patent domain, you must have noticed the increasing number of patent litigations round the globe, over the past few years. Well, in this competitive world, terms like lawsuits and litigations shouldn’t be surprising at all. Still, the increasing number of patent litigations was an alarming concern, as most of the patent litigation proceedings are initiated by the companies to gain financial as well as market advantage over their competitors. This in turn leads to conflicts; which in turn demotes innovation, as opposed to promoting innovation, which is the prime focus of the patent system. However, we were in for a (pleasant) surprise when two of the largest tech-giants who were (are) involved in many major lawsuits around the globe decided to make peace and move forward to benefit the public.
Microsoft and Google, two firms well-known for their contribution to the tech world as well as for the fierce battles to claim their supremacy, agreed last week to end all patent infringement cases pending against each other, foreseeing the benefits that collaboration would offer to them. These two firms had around 20 lawsuits in Germany and the USA, most of them related to mobile phones, video recording, and Wi-Fi technologies, including the Motorola Mobility related cases. The latest deal brings all the 20 lawsuits to a close.
In the current scenario, where almost all of the tech giants are involved in multiple lawsuits, this indeed is a welcome move. When the most innovative minds from these two companies work together, we, the tech enthusiasts and IP professionals, are more than just excited. Google and Microsoft even announced that they are planning to work together on technology such as a royalty-free method of delivering content over the Internet. Another advantage is that Google and Microsoft can save millions, if not billions, by putting an end to these lawsuits, and they can spend the money to support innovation. We hope this is just a beginning! If other companies also follow this path, an innovation-friendly world is awaiting us somewhere in the near future.