Microsoft Corporation has a new licensing agreement with Toyota Corporation that includes broad coverage for connected car technologies needed for autonomous vehicles. Today’s agreement builds on a previous ones going back to 2011 that include their collaboration on the Azure-based Toyota Big Data Center. Whether customers will accept Giant Smartphones on wheels remains an open question.
“Microsoft invests $11.4 billion annually in research and development and for more than 30 years has been developing innovative technologies that are powering today’s connected car experiences,” said Erich Andersen, corporate vice president and chief IP counsel of Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Group. Microsoft Technology Licensing was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license its patent portfolio.
Thus far, it appears it has little to show for spending of cash generated by its core businesses in software for computers, servers and Office.
“We don’t make cars; we are working closely with today’s car companies to help them meet customer demands said Andersen,
All the usual benefits were claimed – faster innovation, connected car experiences, customer satisfaction. Toyota Connected is the carmaker’s data science hub as it seeks to connect cars to using Microsoft’s Azure
The patent agreement is an of the role intellectual property (IP) plays in the automobile business as auto companies rush toward semi- and then fully-autonomous cars. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered more than 1,200 licensing agreements.
Microsoft Technology Licensing was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license its patent portfolio.