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Alpine, Microsoft Enter Agreement

2/19/2008 10:38:00 AM Eastern

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft and Alpine Electronics signed an agreement to cross-license the companies’ respective patent portfolios. The deal will spur innovation in car navigation and other products, they said.

Alpine has used Microsoft’s operating system, Windows Automotive, on almost all of its navigation systems since 2002.

“This agreement builds on a strong existing relationship between Microsoft and Alpine, and provides both companies with further access to their respective patent portfolios,” said Horacio Gutierrez, VP intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft.

Financial terms terms of the agreement were not disclosed, although Alpine is paying Microsoft for the license to its patents, said the companies.

Microsoft has entered similar agreements in the past year with Kenwood Corp., JVC Americas Corp, LG Electronics, Samsung and others. The software giant claims to have arranged more than 475 licensing agreements since 2003.