Microsoft and Rakuten sign patent licensing agreement

REDMOND, Wash., and TOKYO — March 9, 2016 — Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC and Rakuten Inc. on Wednesday signed a worldwide patent cross-licensing agreement covering each company’s respective consumer electronics products, including Linux and Android-based devices.

“Our agreement with Rakuten reinforces the opportunities that cross-licensing can bring to companies across the technology spectrum,” said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing. “We’re pleased to have found a mutually beneficial path of collaboration that will ultimately benefit consumers.”

“This agreement gives us the freedom to bring our customers new and exciting products, while jointly recognizing the value of patented innovation,” said Akio Sugihara, managing executive officer and director of Rakuten.

The terms of the agreement are confidential.

Microsoft’s commitment to licensing IP

The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered into more than 1,200 licensing agreements. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

About Rakuten Inc.

Rakuten, Inc. (TOKYO: 4755) is one of the world’s leading Internet companies, offering a wide variety of services for consumers and businesses with a focus on e-commerce, finance, and digital content. Since 2012, Rakuten has been ranked among the world’s ‘Top 20 Most Innovative Companies’ in Forbes magazine’s annual list. Rakuten is expanding worldwide and currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with nearly 12,000 employees worldwide. For more information: http://global.rakuten.com/corp/

About Microsoft Technology Licensing

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license Microsoft’s patent portfolio.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.