In an agreement announced Dec. 21, 2004, Microsoft has extended a technology-sharing arrangement with Citrix Systems to include a five-year patent cross-licensing plan between the two companies. The deal also calls for Citrix to get access to the source code of Longhorn
, the forthcoming version of Microsoft's Windows Server operating system, which is due out in 2007. This follows a cross-licensing deal between Microsoft and Autodesk [see earlier post on IPBiz].
The cross-licensing deal also confirms Microsoft's strategy of obtaining patents, and dealing through licensing, as distinct from using trade secrets. This has relevance to the discussion on Judge Posner's blog about the value of trade secrets. Microsoft values the patent approach to that of trade secrets.