Microsoft inks new Android patent deal with Velocity Micro

By Tom Warren, on 29th Jun 11 1:29 pm with 21 Comments

Microsoft announced on Wednesday a new Android patent deal.

The software giant has signed a patent agreement that allows Velocity Micro to use some of Microsoft’s patent portfolio. The deal is the latest in a string of Android Patent deals for Microsoft. Velocity Micro manufacturers a number of Android-based devices, including the Cruz Tablet. Microsoft refused to detail the details of the deal but did indicate that the company will receieve royalties from Velocity Micro under the agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Velocity Micro, Inc., to address and secure IP rights for its Android-based Cruz™ tablet devices,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.

Microsoft recently announced a similar deal with General Dynamics Itronix. The agreement, signed earlier this week, appears to be identical to the Velocity deal. Microsoft and HTC signed a patent agreement last year relating to HTC’s mobile phones running Android. Although the terms of the deal were undisclosed, it was recently reported that Microsoft receives $5 for every HTC device sold. Microsoft is widely believed to generate more revenue from Android patents than its own Windows Phone licences. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has previously said that Android is not free. “Android has a patent fee. It’s not like Android’s free,” he said in October last year. Microsoft has been pursuing Taiwan-based handset makers Acer and Asustek. The company is trying to muscle the vendors into agreeing a patent deal in an attempt to thwart the spread of Android and Chrome OS. Both ASUS and Acer have been using Android on a number of devices.

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Motorola in October, claiming their Android handsets infringed nine Microsoft patents. ASUS and Acer have avoided paying any license cost or royalty fees as Android is free. Other handset makers have had to pay royalty fees of at least $10-15 per device to officially use the patents concerned. Microsoft claims its latest deal is “another example” of its intellectual property (IP) portfolio.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    They should just team up with Google…  Its not fair on google that Microsoft makes more money from Android than WP7 

    • Anonymous

      lol, i think you’l find many things in business “is not fair”

    • Anonymous

      Blame Google, Google is the one that chose to make no money off Android, it was their ticket into the mobile space to secure their search and ad empire. It was them that got the carriers to back Android because they give the carriers the revenue from App sales. Why the hell do you think Carriers love Android so much? It gives them an iPhone competitor, they get like 30% of App sales to their customers

    • GRS_DEV

      Google makes money off Android. Just not directly. They do not charge a license fee for the OS per unit sold; however, every active Android device is a data generating machine. Google is loving this. Their licensees are still scarffing this up and happy to pay MS to use their otherwise unviable product! In the short run Google is winning. In the long run, I have a feeling that somewhere in those licensing agreements MS is embedding clauses that stipulate these OEMs must produce Windows products, probably sometime in 2012 when Win 8 goes RTM. Knowing MS they know how to work the OEMs and if the 80s and 90s serve as a lesson, I would say this is becoming more of a clear case of history repeating itself…

    • Guest

      Sounds like illegal monopoly maintenance to me. Time for the DOJ to get involved.

    • Tim

      Why not. Just because Google give the software away for free it doesn’t mean it’s theirs to give away. It’s no different to someone taking the source code for Angry Birds and giving it away telling people they can have it for free. Microsoft invented things patented them and now Google is giving away software that includes those things someone ultimately has to pay Microsoft for it.

      Although it could be hardware patents that arn’t anything to do with the software. Microsoft after all invents a lot more than it actually sells.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rahul.mulchandani Rahul Mulchandani

      LOL. Why should MS Not make money? Everyone here is to make money. Google chose to give android for free for expanding their search and advertising platform to the mobile.

    • GRS_DEV

      Why not? And the whole notion of MS making more money from Android than WP7 is skewed. While MS is collecting more money per license, WP7 is a strategic product and the revenues it has aligned with it are far more than $5 a pop.

    • Guest

      it’s strategic for MS because without it, Windows relevance will decline and their revenue along with it. WP7 hasn’t, and likely never will be, much of a profit engine.

    • Guest

      Given that MS is losing money on WP7 overall, that’s not too hard.

    • Guest

      Given that MS is losing money on WP7 overall, that’s not too hard.

    • Guest

      Given that MS is losing money on WP7 overall, that’s not too hard.

    • Guest

      Given that MS is losing money on WP7 overall, that’s not too hard.

  • Nitin 3354612003

    hmmmm…who the hell this company is..does it even sell any devices in bulk?

  • Luna1260

    Even if they team up with Google, they still need to pay Microsoft or using their IP Patents which belong to Microsoft not Google. I just think that if Apple, Google and Microsoft would create an alliance instead of fighting with each other the US would have the most powerful and advance technology in the world. instead we’re letting other countries take the lead while we bullied each other.

    • Aaron

      America became the leader in technology because of competitive companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google fighting each other.  Why would we want them to stop being competitive and form a union?  That would only create a giant lazy sluggish behemoth.  Eventually tax payers would have to keep it propped up because its “too big to fail”.  No thank you, I like each of these companies forcing the other to innovate as fast as possible.

    • Luna1260

      I do understand your point but I’m talking about the US in comparison to other countries that are ahead of us in technology. No, Im not talking about forming a union; I’m talking about creating a unified force to compete with foreign companies the potential that these 3 companies would have will be immense and limitless. Right now all the money they spend in lawyers defending each other from infringement could be spend in research!

    • Guest

      Unified force sounds dangerously close to collusion, which is a violation of Federal antitrust laws.

    • Guest

      The leading smartphone OSes all come from America, or at least North America.

  • guest

    The companies involved aren’t too worried after all is said and done.  Doesn’t Google give OEM/Operators a cut of advertising revenue?  If I was an operator I’d be pushing Android devices hard.  As long as the MS fees aren’t larger than what I can get by dancing with the Goog, I’m all set, cuz them shitz be selling like hotcakes.

  • Tonious

    Android patent deal?!?!?!