Google, Microsoft to settle patent feud

Microsoft and Google agreed Wednesday to dismiss nearly 20 patent related lawsuits that they have pending against one another.

The two rivals have filed lawsuits against each other for the last 5 years over royalties related to wi-fi, smartphones and web video. The core of these lawsuits has been an ongoing fight over the use of  patents. Both Google and Microsoft have fought viciously to use patents owned by the one another, and to collect royalties for their use.

The patent disagreement started in 2010 when Microsoft filed suit against Motorola, which was acquired by Google the following year. Microsoft, like other prominent software companies, licenses patents from Google for various products and devices. Microsoft’s suit alleged that Android devices infringed on Microsoft patents and that Motorola was charging excessively for the royalties. Google fought back claiming that Motorola’s royalty rates were fair.

In 2013, Microsoft won its case against Motorola and got the royalty rate reduced to 22 times lower than Motorola was charging.

Neither company disclosed the settlement to end their patent feud, but they did say that they “agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers.”

 

Article via CNET, 30 September 2015

Photo: Google Campus Mountain View, CA via Eric Langhorst[Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

 


Microsoft sued for gender discrimination

Former technician Katherine Moussouris sued Microsoft this Wednesday for gender discrimination. She alleges that Microsoft paid and promoted female employees less than male coworkers, and that women in the company were also ranked consistently below men. Moussouri proposed the class action lawsuit after working at Microsoft between 2007 and 2014.

The lawsuit states that the tech company’s practices and policies “systematically violate female technical employees’ rights and result in unchecked gender bias that pervades its corporate culture.”

This suit occurs as other tech giants, recently Twitter and Facebook, also battle gender discrimination lawsuits. Public interest in women’s role in the workplace has increased since Ellen Pao filed a high-profile lawsuit against the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for unequal treatment on the basis of gender.

Microsoft released a statement in response to Moussouri’s allegations: “We’re committed to a diverse workforce, and to a workplace where all employees have the chance to succeed.”

 

Article via CNET, 16 September 2015

Photo: Microsoft via Thomas Hawk [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]