US heavyweights Microsoft and Google have agreed to stand down in a protracted row over alleged patent infringements. The two companies are to bury all litigation against each other to free resources for other tasks.
Microsoft's and Google's agreement to bury all patent infringement litigation against each other will settle 18 cases in the United States and Germany.
The two companies said the deal would put an end to court fights involving a variety of technologies, including mobile phones and patents used in Microsoft's Xbox game consoles.
The accord also drops all litigation involving Motorola Mobility, which Google sold to Lenovo last year while keeping its patents.
Smoking the peace pipe – for now
"Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas to benefit customers," the firms said in a joint statement.
The two companies mentioned they'd already been cooperating on several issues ranging from the development of a unified patent court for the EU to the creation of a royalty-free technology for speeding up video on the Internet.
But as Microsoft and Google continue to make products that compete with each other directly - such as search engines and mobile computing devices – the agreement reached notably does not preclude any future infringement lawsuits.
hg/pad (Reuters, dpa)