Microsoft (MSFT) and Chinese website Sina.com (SINA) have announced a technology licensing agreement for the Chinese Couplet Generator technology, a natural language processing innovation created at Microsoft Research Asia, to enhance Sina.com's ability to deliver mobile value-added services to the Chinese market.

"Sharing and displaying couplets on Chinese New Year is a tradition that is thousands of years old, and we are excited that this new collaboration with Microsoft will help us bring this custom to computers and mobile phones," said Gao-Fei Wang, vice president of Sina.com and general manager of Sina.com Mobile.

Through the licensing agreement, Microsoft's patented technology will be used in Sina.com's new couplet service for mobile phones, which allows a mobile user to send the first line of couplet sentence via SMS to Sina.com's server running Microsoft's Chinese couplet generation engine. The engine will automatically build the second line and horizontal scroll bearing an inscription to users in the form of multimedia message service or SMS. The service is already running, in time for the Chinese New Year at the end of January when billions of SMS messages will be sent with New Year's greetings.

Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 500 licensing agreements — including a recent collaboration with Chinese company Komoxo Mobile Software — and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio.

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