Microsoft inks Android patent deals with Acer, ViewSonic

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    So nearly everyone is now paying MS for using Android, but no one is paying Apple?
  • Reply 2 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    Ummmm, forget it.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    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.



  • Reply 6 of 34
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Uhhhhhh Uhuhuhuhuh. Uhhhhhh.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 34
    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。。
  • Reply 12 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    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!
  • Reply 17 of 34
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    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)
  • Reply 19 of 34
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    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.
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