San Diego – Microsoft Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. have entered into a patent licensing agreement giving the Blackberry maker unfettered access to its latest file allocation system for flash memory storage, Microsoft said Tuesday.
Microsoft’s Extended File Allocation Table, known as exFAT, is a modern file system that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and other electronic devices, according to the tech giant.
The system improves on its predecessor, the FAT system, and greatly expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle by five times over previous FAT technology. It also increases the speed with which those files can be accessed.
“Today’s smartphones and tablets require the capacity to display richer images and data than traditional cellular phones,” Microsoft general manager of intellectual property licensing David Kaefer said.
“This agreement with RIM highlights how a modern file system such as exFAT can help directly address the specific needs of customers in the mobile industry,” he said.
Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio, the company claims. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s R&D investments and its patent portfolio.
Microsoft has entered into similar licensing agreements with several leading consumer electronics manufacturers through its IP licensing program, including Panasonic Corp., Sanyo Electric Company Ltd., Sony Corp. and Canon Inc.
Last year Microsoft and RIM entered another patent deal, as part of a consortium including Apple Inc. and others that paid $4.5 billion for the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks Inc.