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After a long and bitter legal feud that threatened to result in a painful disruption of the PC supply line, a financial settlement has apparently made fast friends of Stac Electronics Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
Citing a "new era of cooperation," the two legal sparring partners settled their long-standing patent dispute after Microsoft agreed to purchase some $40 million of Stac stock and pay an additional $43 million in royalties. Microsoft now owns about 15 percent of Stac.
The settlement allows each company to use any compression patents currently held or obtained by either company within the next five years. It will not allow Microsoft to bundle Stac's compression …