If you happen to be making devices that run on Linux -- of which Android is a subset -- odds are pretty good that you'll be getting a phone call from Redmond at some point. And that's just what happened to Casio, who's joining existing licensees TomTom and Amazon in signing a cross license agreement with Microsoft for patents pertaining to the Tux-approved OS. Covering Linux on "certain Casio devices," the joint statement was equally vague about how many greenbacks exchanged hands, simply stating: "[both] parties acknowledge that Microsoft is being compensated by Casio." There ain't much more to it, but folks looking to humor themselves can do so after the break.
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Microsoft and Casio Sign Patent Agreement

Agreement provides Casio customers with coverage for use of Linux in certain devices.

REDMOND, Wash. and TOKYO, Sept. 20, 2011 -- Microsoft Corp. and Casio Computer Co. Ltd. have entered into a broad, multiyear patent cross-licensing agreement that, among other things, will provide Casio's customers with patent coverage for their use of Linux in certain Casio devices. This licensing agreement is an extension of the long-standing relationship between the two companies; Casio utilizes a wide variety of Microsoft software for its products, including its industrial handheld terminals and business information systems. Although the details of the licensing agreement are confidential, the parties acknowledge that Microsoft is being compensated by Casio.

"We're pleased to reach an agreement and to see continued recognition of the value of our patent portfolio, particularly as it relates to operating systems," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.

Microsoft's Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property
This patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 700 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft's significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

More information about Microsoft's licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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Microsoft and Casio enter cross licensing agreement, world wonders if Casio actually makes Linux-based devices