Microsoft Signs Patent Licensing Agreement With Volkswagen

Posted by at 6:10 am on May 3, 2011

Microsoft Corp. announced today that it signed a patent licensing agreement with Volkswagen Group’s software supplier e.solutions, giving the Germany-based company access to Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) technology — the latest generation of Microsoft’s file system.

The agreement is the first of its kind that Microsoft has forged within the automotive sector. exFAT delivers a significant leap forward in the size of media files that can be stored on a broad range of consumer electronic devices and increases the speed with which they can be accessed. exFAT will give car owners additional and reliable resources for bringing multimedia content into their vehicles.

e.solutions was founded by Audi and EB (Elektrobit) in 2009. The goal of the joint venture is to provide an infotainment software suite to enhance reuse of software for in-vehicle infotainment and to drive innovations. The company is developing technologies for a new multimedia platform that will provide a longer menu of infotainment options while reducing drivers’ distraction. Using exFAT technology will help e.solutions follow future consumer electronics developments while delivering an outstanding multimedia experience.

“In-vehicle electronics breakthroughs have continued at an accelerated pace, opening the door for new opportunities,” said Uwe Reder, managing director at e.solutions. “exFAT gives us the opportunity to functionally integrate and innovate, providing our customers with a full-featured driving experience.”

“exFAT will help the auto industry and other industries make it easier for their customers to move large audio and video files across devices,” said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft. “e.solutions is leading the way for the auto industry, and we’re pleased to make exFAT available to them and to others through our patent licensing program.”

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

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