Microsoft has announced a new patent licensing agreement with Toyota that includes broad coverage for connected car technologies. The agreement builds on Toyota and Microsoft’s strong partnership, which includes their collaboration on the Azure-based Toyota Big Data Center.
“Microsoft invests US$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.”
“The connected car represents an enormous opportunity for the auto industry, and at the core it’s a software challenge,” says Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development at Microsoft. “Our mission is to empower car makers with technology that allows them to focus on building even better driving experiences for their customers.”
“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. “Through this patent partnership between Toyota and Microsoft, we will be able to innovate faster to deliver new, contextual and immersive experiences to our customers.”
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.