Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two more Android OEMs sign up as Microsoft patent licensees

About two months ago, Microsoft signed up four new Android OEMs as patent licensees within about a week. Last year, Microsoft also announced a deal with HTC, as I mentioned in that same post.

Today there have been two more announcements of that kind:

  • Acer took a license for its "tablets and smartphones running the Android platform".

    I remember that Acer's chairman fired a verbal warning shot a couple of months ago against Apple, saying that if Apple's Android-related litigation hit Acer, they'd be prepared to defend themselves. There was no such rhetoric concerning Microsoft. Now we all know they were able to work out a license agreement.

  • ViewSonic now has a license to Microsoft's patents for "tablets and mobile phones running the Android or Chrome Platform".

    Chrome was previously mentioned in connection with Microsoft's outbound patent licensing (the Wistron deal).

These deals are business as usual. It seems that business as usual continues for Microsoft regardless of Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility (MMI). After all, Microsoft already filed lawsuits against MMI last year and wasn't deterred by MMI's patents. Nor was Apple.

In terms of the impact of "Googlorola", there's certainly a discrepancy between what pundits believe and what industry players actually conclude. And such discrepancies are usually a sign of many analysts and experts simply being wrong, especially on a specialized subject such as patent litigation and licensing.

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