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Microsoft, RIM Strike Patent Licensing Deal

Microsoft and mobile device maker Research In Motion (RIM) have inked an intellectual property agreement related to Microsoft's Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) technology.

Terms of the patent licensing agreement, announced by Microsoft on Tuesday, were not disclosed. RIM makes mobile devices such as the BlackBerry smartphone and the PlayBook tablet, but it wasn't clear from Microsoft's announcement what RIM products were using Microsoft exFAT technology.

Microsoft's exFAT is a successor technology to the company's venerable File Allocation Table solution. The advantage of exFAT is that it supports large multimedia file transfers between PCs and other electronic devices. The technology boosts file handling to above 32 GB, with limits of up to 256 terabytes. Flash memory file handling is improved five times over the older FAT technology. Microsoft also claims that exFAT can handle "more than 4,000 RAW images, 100 HD movies or 60 hours of HD recording in a single directory," according to its licensing page

This year, Microsoft has struck exFAT intellectual property deals with Sharp Corp. and Aspen Avionics Inc. Other licensees of the technology include Canon, Sanyo, Sony and Panasonic.

Microsoft claims to have racked up more than 1,100 licensing deals since it rolled out its IP licensing program in December 2003.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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