Microsoft licenses 200 IP messaging patents from Openwave

openwave-logoOpenwave Systems, who is in the process of suing Apple and RIM, have reached an agreement with Microsoft to license their portfolio of 200 patents.

The portfolio include several foundational patents covering smart device and cloud technologies, among others.  The patents have been described as “covering a range of smartphone core features and functions,” by Erin-Michael Gill, managing director and chief intellectual property officer at MDB Capital Group, and difficult to work around.

Openwave Systems a global software company delivering context-aware mediation and messaging solutions that enable communication service providers and the broader ecosystem to create and deliver smarter services.

In August 2011, Openwave filed complaints with the International Trade Commission and in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) alleging that Apple and RIM products infringe certain Openwave patents.

Microsoft, who themselves is on a patent licensing spree, has had a pre-existing relationship with the company, buying Musicwave from them in 2007, and worked with the company as far back as 2004 to offer MSN Mobile services to Openwave’s mobile platform.

While it is unlikely licensing Openwave’s patents will allow Microsoft to deliver new features, it does likely smooth their way to rapidly releasing features like Skype integration in Windows Phone 7, without being tied up in litigation.

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