Microsoft scores another Android patent deal as license pressures ramp

June 27, 2011
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Android device manufacturer General Dynamics Itronix has agreed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft, the latest company to cough up cash despite many assuming that Android, being open-source, liberates them from patent concerns. According to the rather smug Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, the deal "is an example of how industry leaders address intellectual property."

That certainly seems a snub to other Android OEMs yet to ink patent contracts with Microsoft. It's unclear what exact patents the agreement covers, at this stage, though Microsoft has been vocal in the past about the misconception that Android is a "free" OS because Google made it open-source. "Android has a patent fee" CEO Steve Ballmer said back in 2010, "it's not like Android’s free. You do have to license patents. HTC’s signed a license with us and you’re going to see license fees clearly for Android as well as for Windows."

Earlier this year it was suggested that HTC pays Microsoft $5 for every Android device the company sells. In fact,  Citi analyst Walter Pritchard suggested, Microsoft made more from indirect Android handset sales that it did from licensing Windows Phone to its own OEMs.


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  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    Why is MS making money off Android? They didn’t invent it!

    • Anonymous

      that is very weird huh? maybe WinPho 7 isnt doing so well so they need to make money off another OS.

    • Anonymous

      Google bought Android back in 2005 and although the OS based on Linux (open source – FREE) much of the technology utilized is licensed (i.e. ActiveSync) so in a sense Microsoft did invent a part of Android.