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7

Microsoft squeezes Acer, ViewSonic for Android patent deals

Microsoft today secured a deal from Acer and ViewSonic for licensing patents related to Android IP on both companies' phone offerings as well as ViewSonic's Chrome tablets. Continuing the trend of using their industry-wide licensing deal, Microsoft was able to settle peacefully with both companies, avoiding any sort of litigation, unlike with Motorola who are being sued by Microsoft (and vice versa). From Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft

“We are pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industry wide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues. This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property.”

What's this mean for Windows Phone? In short, we'll have more licensing money coming in from Android, in addition to Windows Phone, which is a bit funny. And Microsoft continues to put the squeeze on Android OEMs, reminding them that Android is far from free, as Google promises.

Source: Microsoft 1, 2; via: Android Central

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Reader comments

Microsoft squeezes Acer, ViewSonic for Android patent deals

7 Comments

I kinda like the idea of licensing fees collected from Android OS vendors funding R&D for Windows Phone :) Better yet, perhaps the fees will help offset the Skype purchase. Anyway, it's good to see cooperation, instead of litigation!

It's not doing anything for WP7 though. It's still a handset being sold for a competing platform and is likely still much cheaper than a WP7 license.

It's doing a lot for WP7. The benefit for OEMs in making Android devices was the idea that Android is *free*--that's the main push by Google.As soon as you start having to pay $5+ for each device in addition to being legally liable for patent infringements, Android becomes a financial investment *and* risk. It basically negates the advantage Android has for OEMs.Some analyses suggests that if OEMs had to pay the true cost of patent licensing in Android, it could be $60 a device.

See Apple, that's how you do proper business. Go out and create better partners through good business deals, not strong arm tactics and product bans (see Apple vs Samsung). I know, I know, MS had tried to get products banned before, but Microsoft's approach to Android is a lot different. Microsoft tries to make licensing deals first, lawsuit second. Apple is totally skipping the licensing part and going straight for the jugular.

It's true, Apple has a very different approach. One good analysis was simply this: Apple won't make deals on patents that they truly innovated on, nor will they engage in licensing patent swaps if they can't get anything they need. Basically, if they invented it, they want 100% credit and 100% ownership. That's their right as a patent holder, but indeed, MS takes a different route: rent 'em out to whomever will pay. Very different models.