Microsoft, Rakuten Hook Up on Licensing Agreement

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.

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) patent portfolio.

The patent agreement -- terms of which are confidential -- 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

Shares in the company dubbed "Mr. Softee" lost four cents to $52.80 U.S., within a 52-week trading range of $39.72 to $56.85 U.S.