Microsoft has today announced a new patent licensing agreement with automotive giant Toyota Corp. The company sent out a press release that says the agreement strengthens ties between Microsoft and Toyota. Under the patent agreement, the companies will focus on “broad coverage” of connected car technologies.
Like other similar agreements, the arrangement will allow the two companies to use each other’s technology. This means Microsoft can use Toyota’s in-car developments in development of its own, and vice versa.
In the press release, Microsoft says that intellectual property (IP) is important for a healthy tech and innovation environment. The company says it has set over 1,200 licensing agreements since it formed the IP licensing program in 2003.
“Microsoft invests $11.4 billion annually in research and development and for more than 30 years has been developing innovative technologies that are powering today’s connected car experiences. When you look across telematics, infotainment, safety and other systems in today’s connected cars, you find Microsoft technologies and innovation,” said Erich Andersen, corporate vice president and chief IP counsel of Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Group.
“Microsoft doesn’t make cars; we are working closely with today’s car companies to help them meet customer demands, and we’re pleased today to announce the licensing of our patented technology to our partner, Toyota.”
Microsoft and Toyota Collaborations
Microsoft and the Japanese carmaker are already working together on projects. In April last year, Toyota announced it would use Microsoft Azure as the underpinning platform of its in-car systems.
The cloud service will manage the data services within in-car technology and provide the operational base.
“This is an exciting time in the industry, and we believe that to create the best, most immersive connected car experiences, automotive makers should partner with technology leaders like Microsoft,” said Tokuhisa Nomura, executive general manager of Toyota’s Advanced R&D and Engineering Company of the new licensing agreement.
“Through this patent partnership between Toyota and Microsoft, we will be able to innovate faster.”