Sharp Strikes Licensing Deal With Microsoft Over Use Of exFAT

Microsoft is striking it big with Android, a lot bigger than with Windows Phone. They have countless licensing agreements with most Android manufacturers to use their vast array of patents. While it could be argued Microsoft is asking for too much, it’s never anti-competitive and they always strive to reach licensing agreements so everything continues as it always had.

Their newest agreement is with Sharp, allowing them to use the Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) on their Android devices. If you’re saying “Sharp makes Android devices?” I wouldn’t be surprised. But they’re quite big in Japan, holding 17.5% of the market share in 2011. They also make pretty decent phones, so here’s to hoping they start selling phones in the US.

Microsoft will now receive a royalty on every Sharp Android device sold, and the details are sparse on the agreement. We’re not sure why Sharp needs exFAT for their Android phones, as the standard for Android is EXT. We hope to find out soon.

Microsoft Enters Licensing Agreement with Sharp

Microsoft licenses exFAT file technology to Sharp for use in products including Android phones.

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. has entered into an IP licensing agreement with Sharp Corp. to use the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT). The agreement covers the use of exFAT in smartphones distributed by Sharp based on the Android platform. Today’s deal marks continued momentum by Microsoft for its exFAT technology licensing program.

exFAT is a modern file system that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability for an easy interchange of files between desktop PCs and other electronic devices. exFAT improves on its predecessor, the FAT file system, and greatly expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle – by more than five times over the previous technology. It also greatly increases the speed with which those files can be accessed.

Today’s agreement allows Sharp to incorporate the latest file system from Microsoft in its product portfolio and deliver faster response times and greater storage capabilities to consumers around the globe.

“Consumers today move from mobile phones, to PCs, to home entertainment systems throughout their day – and they expect their media to move as seamlessly across those devices as they do,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “This agreement allows Sharp to continue to stay ahead of the curve and give people around the world entertainment and productivity experiences that truly fit their lifestyles.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Intellectual Property Collaboration
Microsoft offers flexible IP licensing programs that give companies access to many of the foundational technologies in its own products, allowing those companies to build devices, applications and services that work seamlessly with one another.

Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 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.

Microsoft has entered into similar exFAT patent licensing agreements with several leading consumer electronics manufacturers through its IP licensing program, including Panasonic Corp., SANYO Electric Company Ltd., Sony Corp. and Canon Inc.

More information on Microsoft’s IP licensing program is available at, and information specifically related to Microsoft’s exFAT licensing program is available at

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

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.


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