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Google and Microsoft end patent battle and drop lawsuits

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A five-year patent battle between Google and Microsoft has come to a close, as both companies decided to end the feud and drop around 20 lawsuits in the US and Germany today. The tech titans have been clashing since 2010 over royalties related to technology in the Xbox game console and smartphones from Motorola Mobility, which Google owned up until January 2014, when it sold off the division to Lenovo — but kept many of its patents. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but pledged to work together to strengthen the defense of intellectual property, according to a Bloomberg report.

"Microsoft and Google are pleased to announce an agreement on patent issues. As part of the agreement, the companies will dismiss all pending patent infringement litigation between them, including cases related to Motorola Mobility," reads a joint statement from the two companies. "Separately, Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers."

Google and Microsoft have pledged to work together in the future

The litigation back-and-forth started when Microsoft, which claims Android infringes on some of its patents, began demanding royalties starting in 2010 from phone makers worldwide for Android licensing agreements. That kicked off a bitter feud between Microsoft and phone makers like Motorola and Samsung, which Microsoft settled with back in January. The Windows maker claimed Motorola countered its smartphone royalties demands by demanding a 2.25 percent cut of all Xbox sales due to the game console's use of Wi-Fi and video compression technology. The fight dragged on and was further complicated when Google became a participant in 2013 through its Motorola acquisition.

The Microsoft–Google partnership is already underway. Both companies in September agreed to help develop a royalty-free next-generation standard for encoding and decoding video streams alongside Amazon, Cisco, Intel, Mozilla, and Netflix. The group calls itself the Alliance for Open Media.