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Intellectual-VenturessmallIntellectual Ventures today announced a patent licensing agreement with —the Bellevue-based company’s first licensing customer in the area of cloud computing.

The company says the deal will give Salesforce access to Intellectual Ventures’ nearly 40,000 patents and patent applications. Salesforce will also be able to use IV’s patents to fend off litigation and patent challenges, as part of the company’s “IP for Defense” program.

“Cloud computing is an important emerging technology and this license agreement with the leader in enterprise cloud computing demonstrates the breadth of IV’s portfolio,” said Andy Elder, executive VP of Global Licensing at IV, in a press release.

IV, led by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has been a frequent source of controversy for its vast patent holdings, and its efforts to win licensing fees from companies that it contends are violating those patents.

The company has filed a series of patent lawsuits against companies including Ricoh and CanonToshibaSymantecAT&T and CenturyLink/Windstream. The company has been able to reach settlements in a number of cases.

Previously on GeekWire: Patent gurus weigh in: Is the market for deals cooling off? 

Post updated at 10:15 a.m. to clarify the nature of the licensing deal.

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