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Lenovo, Microsoft Forge IPR Alliance
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Black, white and blue are not the usual colors for a ceremony to celebrate new business cooperations in China.


But these colors created a solemn ambience on Monday afternoon at Microsoft headquarters, when senior executives from Lenovo Group Ltd and Microsoft Corp signed what Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing called "the largest intellectual property agreement."


Under the agreement, which involves some U$1.2 billion over the next 12 months, the two companies will join hands to promote the use, and benefits, of bona fide Microsoft software products in China, as well as in some 65 countries and regions around the world.


In China alone, the amount will reach US$200 million.


"Today marks a new milestone in the two companies' cooperation by extending the partnership to a global scale, as well as deepening the level of cooperation," Yang said at the ceremony.


Microsoft and Lenovo decided to forge what is termed "the strategic cooperation" to coincide with President Hu Jintao's official visit to the United States, which started yesterday.


The two companies had made up their mind after a six month trial of "a value-added software program," under which Lenovo pre-installs genuine Microsoft Windows operating systems on most Lenovo product lines.


"I believe that better IPR protection in China will create more favorable conditions for China-US cooperation in the software area," Vice-Premier Wu Yi stated in a written speech for the ceremony.


"Working together with Microsoft, we have made it easy for our joint customers to get the reliability, service and support only available from genuine software, at great competitive pricing," Yang said.


"By taking the lead in providing genuine value-added software on PCs in China, Lenovo is demonstrating foresight and wisdom as a responsible global industry leader," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft.


"Microsoft commends Lenovo for recognizing the importance of intellectual property rights and the value of genuine software. We will continue to work with Lenovo and other industry partners to ensure that customers get the greatest value and performance from their PCs," Bill Gates added.


The signing of the agreement has also won endorsement from the Chinese Government.


(China Daily April 19, 2006)


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