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Microsoft inks Android patent deals with Acer, ViewSonic

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Microsoft on Thursday announced a pair of patent licensing agreements with Acer and ViewSonic, granting the companies broad coverage of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android mobile operating system.

According a press release issued by the Redmond, Wash.-based company, ViewSonic will pay royalties under the agreement, which also covers the Chrome platform, as noted by the Seattle Times. Microsoft's statement regarding the Acer deal doesn't specify whether royalties are involved in its patent license agreement.

It has been reported that the Windows maker currently makes more money off of patent licensing to Android vendors than it does off its own Windows Phone 7 platform. HTC reportedly pays as much as $5 per Android device sold to Microsoft.

In July, Microsoft announced that it had reached four new Android patent deals. Wistron Corp, Velocity Micro, General Dynamics and Onkyo Corp have all signed agreements with the company.

For its part, Acer has said it will face any patent infringement challenges that come with the Android platform. Chairman JT Wang has accused Apple of starting a "patent war" with HTC over Android.

Last month, Microsoft and Google executives exchanged tense words over the current patent situation. The spat began when Google's chief legal officer complained that Microsoft, Apple and others have conspired against the company by banding together to buy up patents from Novell and Nortel. Microsoft fired back by asserting that Google had declined an invitation to join the Novell consortium.

"Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no," Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said on Twitter.

Google CEO Larry Page said in August that it had purchased Motorola to "protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies." The company announced the deal to acquire Motorola, which has more than 17,000 patents, for $12.5 billion last month.

Meanwhile, Apple's legal battles against Android vendors such as Samsung and HTC continue. Earlier this week, HTC sued Apple again with patents it had obtained from Google. Apple has been successful in obtaining a number of injunctions against rival Samsung's Galaxy line of tablets and smartphones.
post #2 of 35
So nearly everyone is now paying MS for using Android, but no one is paying Apple?
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post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So nearly everyone is now paying MS for using Android, but no one is paying Apple?

I've been wondering that very thing for a while now. I never looked up exactly what they're paying for besides "Licensing". I guess it's not for the Novell or Nortel patents.
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So nearly everyone is now paying MS for using Android, but no one is paying Apple?

That's the difference between partnering and not partnering.
post #5 of 35
Ummmm, forget it.

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #6 of 35
The great race for 2nd place in the iPad space continues unabated at a furious pace with Steve Jobs as the reigning Ace. All other imitators should save face and exit the race with grace before the worst-case, your shareholders have you replaced for running said race and finishing last place.

post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Why, exactly, does anyone have to pay Microsoft a royalty for using Android?

Sorry if I seem uninformed or come across as lazy because I'm looking for the Cliffsnotes rather than doing the research to answer my own question. Thanks.

to be on Microsoft's good side. I am sure they give them other incentives for windows or office licensing.
post #8 of 35
Uhhhhhh Uhuhuhuhuh. Uhhhhhh.
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post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Why, exactly, does anyone have to pay Microsoft a royalty for using Android?

The Android OEM's are licensing Microsoft owned patents used in Android.

This is standard industry practice (both Apple and Microsoft license patents used in their operating systems for example).

The main difference in this case is that Microsoft is licensing the patents directly to the OEMs as Google has chosen not to cover the cost of patents used by Android.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

The Android OEM's are licensing Microsoft owned patents used in Android.

This is standard industry practice (both Apple and Microsoft license patents used in their operating systems for example).

The main difference in this case is that Microsoft is licensing the patents directly to the OEMs as Google has chosen not to cover the cost of patents used by Android.

Thanks, I asked the question wrong. I intended to ask what the specific patent(s) were but I did my own research. The rest I already knew.

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #11 of 35
For a "free" operating system Android sure seems to be costing handset manufacturers a lot of money recently…

I wonder how much of this has to do with these manufacturers wanting to be able to make windows 8 phones at some point in the future and needing to be in Microsofts good books?
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

For a "free" operating system Android sure seems to be costing handset manufacturers a lot of money recently

I wonder how much of this has to do with these manufacturers wanting to be able to make windows 8 phones at some point in the future and needing to be in Microsofts good books?

really annoyed questions。。
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post

That's the difference between partnering and not partnering.

No. It's the different between being the biggest supplier of OS software for third-party hardware but failing to get a foothold in mobile, and a vertically integrated company that makes their own software and hardware, and dominates the mobile market in profits.

It's a really easy decision for anyone to battle Apple with all available means they have. Seeing that battling on products, services or even price doesn't really seem to work so great right now, patent litigation is now the wapen of choice. Anything is better than cross-licensing patents. With Microsoft, things are very different, most companies cannot afford to piss Microsoft off because they have big stakes in products that use other Microsoft products and technologies.

It's simply not worth dragging Microsoft to court to try to get away with products that possibly infringe Microsoft patents, since it may very well turn out to be more expensive in the long run, and Microsoft is not really a competitor in mobile anyway. Doesn't take a PhD to figure that out.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post


I wonder how much of this has to do with these manufacturers wanting to be able to make windows 8 phones at some point in the future and needing to be in Microsofts good books?

Excellent question. It wouldn't be unprecedented for M$ to extort money for one thing, as a means for an OEM to get another.

These mega-corporations are a problem. They have been for years. We should support small businesses whenever possible. Big corporations have WAY too much clout in today's world.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

For a "free" operating system Android sure seems to be costing handset manufacturers a lot of money recently

It really is just a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of using a super expensive Microsoft OS. In that case, not only do you have to pay for the OS (some $15+) a handset, but you are locked into Microsoft. You have to buy IDEs, Servers, Databases, Tools, etc... from Microsoft which is major $$$. Then you have to pay the Microsoft tax every year to stay current with their Proprietary software, play whatever they raise the licensing fee for the OS too.

In the long run, you will pay Microsoft a boat load of money more, even with paying a smaller tax on Android. how do you think Microsoft has made so much money? It is not just one sale...they lock you into a whole universe of their proprietary software that ensures it is so expensive to get out, even "free" alternatives are too expensive.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

No. It's the different between being the biggest supplier of OS software for third-party hardware but failing to get a foothold in mobile, and a vertically integrated company that makes their own software and hardware, and dominates the mobile market in profits.

+++

Like the article tells you, MS makes more money off Android, vs. their own mobile platforms, which indicates why this makes sense for them. If Apple licences patents, they will make a small percentage of less profits (they make more than half the profits in the industry) than they make now.

All they want is that the companies invent a damn thing, which apparently is too much to ask.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

It really is just a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of using a super expensive Microsoft OS. In that case, not only do you have to pay for the OS (some $15+) a handset, but you are locked into Microsoft. You have to buy IDEs, Servers, Databases, Tools, etc... from Microsoft which is major $$$.

You can grab Visual Studio Express, WP7 emulator, XNA Game Studio etc from here.

Everything you need to develop for WP7 and it's all free champ!!!.

No sure why you'd need a server or database. You're better off with a trial developer account on Azure (yup, it's free as well) or you could use Google's App Engine.

You'll need a PC to develop on of course... but really, overall that's a pretty decent deal if you're a serious developer. If you want quality software and tools you have to be prepared to pay some money right?!?!

Anyways, you can thank me later!
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

For a "free" operating system Android sure seems to be costing handset manufacturers a lot of money recently

I wonder how much of this has to do with these manufacturers wanting to be able to make windows 8 phones at some point in the future and needing to be in Microsofts good books?

If they are paying $5 a pop then that is exactly the case. B&N complained that M$ wanted $15+ per Nook because it didn't have any other products that could/would use M$ software.
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post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So nearly everyone is now paying MS for using Android, but no one is paying Apple?

Microsoft actually approached the companies and worked out a settlement deal. To our knowledge, ALL apple has done is sue companies to get them to STOP using allegedly infringed IP.
So:
Microsoft: Pay us because we think you're using our product, if you don't we'll sue you to pay us

Apple: We're suing you to stop using our product and make you start from ground zero again.

Why is this a question?

It's also worth noting that all the companies that signed with Microsoft have existing deals with the company for either their computer or mobile software (or both)
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So nearly everyone is now paying MS for using Android, but no one is paying Apple?

1. Does Apple even do licensing deals or do they always just try to kill/ban the competition?

2. It's in Microsoft's best interest to not be too harsh on the OEMs or they just might just refuse to sell MS products (see Motorola and Windows Phone 7). If MS goes for blood with the OEMs, there won't be any OEMs to build the hardware that runs MS software.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

You can grab Visual Studio Express, WP7 emulator, XNA Game Studio etc from here.

Everything you need to develop for WP7 and it's all free champ!!!.

No sure why you'd need a server or database. You're better off with a trial developer account on Azure (yup, it's free as well) or you could use Google's App Engine.

You'll need a PC to develop on of course... but really, overall that's a pretty decent deal if you're a serious developer. If you want quality software and tools you have to be prepared to pay some money right?!?!

Anyways, you can thank me later!


LOL. if you believe you can develop for WP7 with those tools....LOL, i hear there is a bridge in Alaska Sarah Palin would sell you. Name one developer using the "free" versions of Microsofts tools? Of course besides the kiddies who think they are going to write xbox games?

And if you are not sure why you need a server or database, then you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

Microsoft actually approached the companies and worked out a settlement deal. To our knowledge, ALL apple has done is sue companies to get them to STOP using allegedly infringed IP.
So:
Microsoft: Pay us because we think you're using our product, if you don't we'll sue you to pay us

Apple: We're suing you to stop using our product and make you start from ground zero again.

Why is this a question?

It's also worth noting that all the companies that signed with Microsoft have existing deals with the company for either their computer or mobile software (or both)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

1. Does Apple even do licensing deals or do they always just try to kill/ban the competition?

2. It's in Microsoft's best interest to not be too harsh on the OEMs or they just might just refuse to sell MS products (see Motorola and Windows Phone 7). If MS goes for blood with the OEMs, there won't be any OEMs to build the hardware that runs MS software.


Apple has said from the beginning of iPhone/iOS that they are defending their IP, and are not interested in outbound IP licensing of iPhone/iOS. From Apple's perspective they spend a lot of money to generate unique IP compared to the rest of the market, they would like to be able to sell their products without anyone else just stealing the IP once they see it.

Patents are a government granted monopoly which is a directly intended as a governmental reward for spending on R&D. As Apple isn't looking to rent themselves as a generic industry R&D lab, the negotiation is short -- send a C&D letter. Once the reasonable period goes by and the infringer hasn't stopped using the IP, they sue. It gets simple when they aren't interested in licensing their IP.
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post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

1. Does Apple even do licensing deals or do they always just try to kill/ban the competition?

2. It's in Microsoft's best interest to not be too harsh on the OEMs or they just might just refuse to sell MS products (see Motorola and Windows Phone 7). If MS goes for blood with the OEMs, there won't be any OEMs to build the hardware that runs MS software.

There are lots of multi-media tech they license. They also reserve the right to keep things proprietary. But it all comes down to money. If Samsung offered $25/Android handset, I am sure Apple would take the 1.2 billion/year to the bank. It would also increase the cost of the Samsung products enough to slow sales and increase iPhone sales a bit. So Apple would look at the cost benefit analysis and maximize shareholder return.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

There are lots of multi-media tech they license. They also reserve the right to keep things proprietary. But it all comes down to money. If Samsung offered $25/Android handset, I am sure Apple would take the 1.2 billion/year to the bank. It would also increase the cost of the Samsung products enough to slow sales and increase iPhone sales a bit. So Apple would look at the cost benefit analysis and maximize shareholder return.

You should use a different company in your example. Samsung is being sued for trade dress and design patents and there is no way Apple would accept money for those.
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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Apple has said from the beginning of iPhone/iOS that they are defending their IP, and are not interested in outbound IP licensing of iPhone/iOS. From Apple's perspective they spend a lot of money to generate unique IP compared to the rest of the market, they would like to be able to sell their products without anyone else just stealing the IP once they see it.

Patents are a government granted monopoly which is a directly intended as a governmental reward for spending on R&D. As Apple isn't looking to rent themselves as a generic industry R&D lab, the negotiation is short -- send a C&D letter. Once the reasonable period goes by and the infringer hasn't stopped using the IP, they sue. It gets simple when they aren't interested in licensing their IP.

I'm not making a comment one way or the other about WHY apple's sued. I'm merely answering the question of WHY companies are signing deals with Microsoft and no one is paying apple yet.

As you pointed out, Apple doesn't want to be paid.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Apple has said from the beginning of iPhone/iOS that they are defending their IP, and are not interested in outbound IP licensing of iPhone/iOS. From Apple's perspective they spend a lot of money to generate unique IP compared to the rest of the market, they would like to be able to sell their products without anyone else just stealing the IP once they see it.

Patents are a government granted monopoly which is a directly intended as a governmental reward for spending on R&D. As Apple isn't looking to rent themselves as a generic industry R&D lab, the negotiation is short -- send a C&D letter. Once the reasonable period goes by and the infringer hasn't stopped using the IP, they sue. It gets simple when they aren't interested in licensing their IP.

Well put. It is a completely understandable approach when you are the leading innovator.
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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

Microsoft actually approached the companies and worked out a settlement deal. To our knowledge, ALL apple has done is sue companies to get them to STOP using allegedly infringed IP.
So:
Microsoft: Pay us because we think you're using our product, if you don't we'll sue you to pay us

Apple: We're suing you to stop using our product and make you start from ground zero again.

Why is this a question?

We don't know anything about how these cross licensing deal were made, or how Apple has been playing this game behind the scenes. Only thing I know is that making a caricature out of it is too easy. For all I know Apple may have offered HTC and others the option to license some of their patents, but got no deal because the other parties involved decided to take their chances through litigation. Personally, I can understand Apple isn't too bothered with any of this, they don't need the extra revenue, and they have piles of patented technology they actually developed themselves, so they hardly have anything to lose here.

Quote:
It's also worth noting that all the companies that signed with Microsoft have existing deals with the company for either their computer or mobile software (or both)

Exactly. This line alone already largely explains how things got like this. No need to pull out the hyperbole at all.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

We don't know anything about how these cross licensing deal were made, or how Apple has been playing this game behind the scenes. Only thing I know is that making a caricature out of it is too easy. For all I know Apple may have offered HTC and others the option to license some of their patents, but got no deal because the other parties involved decided to take their chances through litigation. Personally, I can understand Apple isn't too bothered with any of this, they don't need the extra revenue, and they have piles of patented technology they actually developed themselves, so they hardly have anything to lose here.

If apple was open to licensing, I think their lawsuits would be towards that goal (they should pay us for this stuff) instead of "they should stop making this stuff." Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc. have ALL stated their willing to negotiate with Apple and reach a settlement.

You're right, we don't know what went on behind the scenes, but the fact that no company has made an announcement about licensing patents. Sure, maybe the big ones think they can cross license, but the smaller companies? Why didn't they sign with Apple if apple is trying to negotiate? Furthermore, why would these companies be willing to settle, if they weren't willing in the first place? with the exception of the HTC case and some samsung stuff in Germany, all of the cases are still in their earlier stages.

Quote:
Exactly. This line alone already largely explains how things got like this. No need to pull out the hyperbole at all.

It's not hyperbole. Apple's lawsuits are to remove these products. As you said, Apple doesn't need the revenue, and their wording is rather clear that they view this as protecting IP, not protecting the right to make money through licensing.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

LOL. if you believe you can develop for WP7 with those tools....LOL, i hear there is a bridge in Alaska Sarah Palin would sell you. Name one developer using the "free" versions of Microsofts tools? Of course besides the kiddies who think they are going to write xbox games?

And if you are not sure why you need a server or database, then you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

Most developers don't pay for their tools. Not sure which world you live in; but I have never paid one dollar to develop software on any platform for over 20 years.

Those free versions do everything you need. Perhaps you should download them and check them out before you pass any judgements.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by twospoons View Post

Most developers don't pay for their tools. Not sure which world you live in; but I have never paid one dollar to develop software on any platform for over 20 years.

Those free versions do everything you need. Perhaps you should download them and check them out before you pass any judgements.

Any real development, real meaning outside some script kiddie messing around, will not work on the Microsoft Express editions...too many artificial limitations. Microsoft needs everyone to pay their outrageous prices to be locked into their proprietary universe. That is how they make all those billions of USD. Not by giving away software.

We do not pay anything for OSes, IDEs, App Servers, Databases, Tools, etc...since we do not use the super expensive, proprietary, Microsoft stack. No vendor lock-in is a great place to be.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

LOL. if you believe you can develop for WP7 with those tools....LOL, i hear there is a bridge in Alaska Sarah Palin would sell you. Name one developer using the "free" versions of Microsofts tools? Of course besides the kiddies who think they are going to write xbox games?

And if you are not sure why you need a server or database, then you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

Yeah, that is pretty much amateur hour. Fine for students, nothing wrong with being a starving student, and the free Visual Studio is the best IDE out there for Windows. That's for homebrew.

The real difference is the cost of going pro. Microsoft MSDN licenses cost a fortune, but are well worth it because you get the keys to te entire kingdom. Apple's pro development tools come with every copy of OS X and developer programs cost far less ($99/year for iOS or OS X each).

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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Yeah, that is pretty much amateur hour. Fine for students, nothing wrong with being a starving student, and the free Visual Studio is the best IDE out there for Windows. That's for homebrew.

The real difference is the cost of going pro. Microsoft MSDN licenses cost a fortune, but are well worth it because you get the keys to te entire kingdom. Apple's pro development tools come with every copy of OS X and developer programs cost far less ($99/year for iOS or OS X each).

I agree, the _full_ version of Visual Studio is the best IDE for _Microsoft focused_ development on Windows. If you are not focused on Microsoft development, there are far better IDEs to use...use the tool which best supports what you are trying to do.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Yeah, that is pretty much amateur hour. Fine for students, nothing wrong with being a starving student, and the free Visual Studio is the best IDE out there for Windows. That's for homebrew.

True except for WP7 development. From the Microsoft website:

When you install Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, you also get Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend, XNA Game Studio, samples, and other SDK components. If Visual Studio 2010 Professional or higher is already installed on your development computer, an add-in for Visual Studio 2010 Professional is automatically installed as well. With the exception of a few debugging features, the add-in provides Windows Phone application development support equivalent to Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone.




Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

LOL. if you believe you can develop for WP7 with those tools....LOL, i hear there is a bridge in Alaska Sarah Palin would sell you. Name one developer using the "free" versions of Microsofts tools? Of course besides the kiddies who think they are going to write xbox games?

And if you are not sure why you need a server or database, then you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

You're clueless.

And if you're developing for WP7 and hosting your own server and database then you're living in the past. Read up on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine. Welcome to 2011.

Again, you can thank be later!
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

True except for WP7 development. From the Microsoft website:

When you install Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, you also get Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend, XNA Game Studio, samples, and other SDK components. If Visual Studio 2010 Professional or higher is already installed on your development computer, an add-in for Visual Studio 2010 Professional is automatically installed as well. With the exception of a few debugging features, the add-in provides Windows Phone application development support equivalent to Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone.





As above. You're clueless.

And if you're developing for WP7 and hosting your own server and database then you're living in the past. Read up on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine. Welcome to 2011.

Again, you can thank be later!


Guess nothing else needs to be said...you clearly do not do development, and have no clue what you are talking about. LAMP is so unpopular because everyone can develop and deploy to the super expensive, i mean free according to you, proprietary Microsoft stack.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Guess nothing else needs to be said...you clearly do not do development, and have no clue what you are talking about. LAMP is so unpopular because everyone can develop and deploy to the super expensive, i mean free according to you, proprietary Microsoft stack.

Oooooooh nooooo! Is the big bad Microsoft going to steal all your money with their fancy scary cloud services?

Maybe I shouldn't have said welcome to 2011... maybe I should have said welcome to this century.

I'm not going to argue with you... the world needs tech dinosaurs like yourself. You can sit up next to the COBAL and Pascal developers and keep ranting about the way it used to be to remind the rest of us why we keep our skills up to date and keep moving forward.
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