US software giant Microsoft and Japanese imaging company Canon have signed a broad patent cross-licensing agreement, the Redmond, Washington, company had said on Wednesday.

The agreement provides the companies with access to a wide variety to licences for each other’s patents, including certain digital imaging and mobile consumer products, according to the statement.

Details about the number of patents involved in the deal were not disclosed.

“This collaborative approach with Canon allows us to deliver inventive technologies that benefit consumers around the world,” said Nick Psyhogeos, a Microsoft associate general counsel for intellectual property licensing. “Microsoft believes cooperative licensing is an effective way to accelerate innovation, while reducing patent disputes.”

Microsoft has signed more than 1,100 licensing agreements opening Microsoft’s intellectual property portfolio for customers, partners and competitors since 2003, the company said.