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Microsoft, Nikon sign patent license agreement

updated 12:00 am EDT, Thu August 28, 2008

Microsoft Nikon agreement

Microsoft and Nikon on Thursday announced that they have signed a cross-licensing patent agreement on Nikon's digital camera patents as well as consumer electronics patents from each company. The details of the agreement, which covers a "broad range" of consumer products from each company, does include some (undisclosed) compensation by Nikon. Looking to innovate on each other's technologies, the companies have previously collaborated on bringing wireless cameras and RAW processing and said that that the new patent cross-licensing agreement will "substantially benefit customers of consumer products including digital cameras."

On the heels of the release of its much-anticipated D90 digital camera with HD video functions, Nikon suggested that the the licensing agreement with the world's largest software maker could bring some "exciting" new products to Nikon's portfolio.

"At Nikon, we want to continue to lead the industry in pioneering photography solutions and give our customers access to innovative technology," said Naoki Tomino, director, member of the board and General Manager of Intellectual Property Headquarters at Nikon. "This agreement is a natural extension of our long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and we look forward to collaborating and bringing exciting new products to the market."

Microsoft said its IP licensing program has inked over 500 licensing agreements in nearly 5 years, with companies such as Fuji Xerox, LG Electronics, Samsung, Epson, and Nikon's competitors Olympus and Pentax.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. misterdna

    Junior Member

    Joined: Aug 2004

    0

    Mac Users

    Hmmm, wonder if this means that Mac-based digital photographers will miss out on some new partnered technologies? From what I've seen, the majority of major-league photographers use Macs... But I guess the masses use Windows, and that's I suppose who will bring masses of money to Nikon.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +1

    Nikon cashes in...?

    ...after being disappointed with the only Nikon I ever looked at buying (due to barrel distortion) http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/digitalcameras/0,39030232,39186555,00.htm I can only imagine what may happen next - the legendary quality of the 'old guard' may be further rebranded & commercialized - this company apparently used to set the bar along with Olympus & Canon for image quality... Could this even happen on a pc...?

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    -2

    Nikon is good

    I use and love my Canon 40D, but the Nikon cameras are wonderful too. I cannot speak to the distortion above, but some of the photos I have seen with (I believe) the Nikon D40 and others are breathtaking.

    And Nikon makes great lenses!

    Regarding Majority of Photographers using MACS, this I doubt. I think that I higher percentage of photographers use MACS than the general public (maybe 25-30% vs. 7%-9%) but the majority still use Windows.

  1. finalsortie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2007

    0

    O joy. . .

    Let's just hope that Nikon doesn't go the way of Adobe with it's Mac products and support.

    I use a Nikon D50, and it is an awesome camera when used properly.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    Bad Sign?

    If Nikon is looking for "innovation" they're looking down the wrong rabbit hole. Clearly they're looking for the money.

    I'm worried about losing full Mac support, too.

    Until recently, Canon's DSLRs' electronics have been better than Nikon, but now that Nikon has started using CMOS sensors that will hopefully change. IMHO Nikon lenses have always been better than Canon and good lenses are the bottom line. I've been sitting on the sidelines as far as getting a DSLR and the newer Nikon models are pushing me toward the tipping point. The D300 and D90 are looking pretty tasty...

    dynsight: Mac is NOT and acronym. Mac is short for Macintosh.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2004

    +1

    Bad News...

    Cross-licensing is usually good, but with MS losing share to Macs and MS biz model one of exclude competitors rather than innovate, this is probably bad news for pro photog Nikon users. Like me.

    Nikon's DSLRs are superb, at the moment probably best-in-class, but if they denigrate the Mac side by conspiring with MS they could turn that downhill.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2004

    0

    Bad News...

    Cross-licensing is usually good, but with MS losing share to Macs and MS biz model one of exclude competitors rather than innovate, this is probably bad news for pro photog Nikon users. Like me.

    Nikon's DSLRs are superb, at the moment probably best-in-class, but with software such an essential part of modern DSLRs if they denigrate the Mac side by conspiring with MS they could turn that downhill.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2004

    0

    Bad News...

    Cross-licensing is usually good, but with MS losing share to Macs and MS biz model one of exclusion of competitors rather than innovation, this is probably bad news for pro photog Nikon users. Like me.

    Nikon's DSLRs are superb, at the moment probably best-in-class, but with software such an essential part of modern DSLRs if they denigrate the Mac side by conspiring with MS they could turn that downhill.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2004

    0

    Bad News...

    Cross-licensing is usually good, but with MS losing share to Macs and MS biz model one of exclusion of competitors rather than innovation, this is probably bad news for pro photog Nikon users. Like me.

    Nikon's DSLRs are superb, at the moment probably best-in-class, but with software such an essential part of modern DSLRs if they denigrate the Mac side by conspiring with MS they could turn that downhill.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    +1

    this makes me worry...

    ...that I may go to update my firmware on my D80 in a year or 2 and find out that Microsoft wrote some crappy firmware and it either starts acting buggy or catches a virus.

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