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Microsoft and Canon cross-patent deal could mean Lumia smartphones with Canon cameras

Tom Morgan
7 Jul 2014
Microsoft Canon smartphone mockup
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A patent sharing deal between Canon and Microsoft could see future Lumia smartphones equipped with Canon camera technology

Microsoft and Canon have announced a patent-sharing deal which will see each company using the other's intellectual property in future products - potentially paving the way to Lumia smartphones equipped with Canon camera technology, boosting the already impressive PureView tech found in the Lumia 1020.

The patent cross-licensing agreement, revealed last week, gives each company the right to use the other's intellectual property on some of their forthcoming products. Although neither company mentioned specifics, the agreement covers "a broad range of products and services" that includes "certain digital imaging and mobile consumer products". That almost certainly includes mobile phones, after Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices division earlier this year.

"This collaborative approach with Canon allows us to deliver inventive technologies that benefit consumers around the world," Nick Psyhogeos, Microsoft's IP Licensing general manager, said in a statement. "Microsoft believes cooperative licensing is an effective way to accelerate innovation while reducing patent disputes."

Patent sharing isn't anything new for Microsoft; since it launched an intellectual property licensing program in 2003, it has signed more than 1,100 licensing agreements with its competitors and other companies, but this latest move could mean big things for its newly-purchased smartphones division. With Canon camera technology, Windows Phone handsets could receive a welcome edge over the Android and iOS competiton.

Neither Microsoft or Canon has made it clear when the first products to benefit from this technology swap will be revealed to the public.

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