Microsoft nails second Android device maker
Microsoft has nailed a second Android device maker to a patent licensing agreement.
The Redmond software giant announced on Monday that General Dynamics Itronix has signed a patent agreement that will provide "broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio".
In other words, General Dynamics Itronix has agreed to licensing certain, unnamed Microsoft patents for use with Android-powered portables.
As usual, detailed terms of the deal have not been announced, but Microsoft will receive royalties from General Dynamics Itronix under the agreement for every Android device it sells.
Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, said in a statement: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with General Dynamics Itronix, which is an example of how industry leaders address intellectual property."
General Dynamics Itronix follows smartphone maker HTC to also agree to pay Microsoft royalties on patents it claims are used in connection with Google's operating system.
Microsoft receives $5 per Android device HTC ships.
It's likely Microsoft approached General Dynamics Itronix and said Android violated its patents and then asked for royalties to settle the matter. And it seems the OEM agreed to agree. Others have not: Microsoft has lodged legal actions against Motorola claiming the Android-based Droid X and Droid 2, along with other handsets, violate nine of the company's software patents. Microsoft is also taking action against Barnes & Noble, Invetec, and Foxconn International over alleged patent infringements by the Android-based Nook e-reader sold by Barnes & Noble. ®
My choice is narrowing
Someone else that I won't be getting a phone from when I renew my contract.
Paying extortionists is defined as a criminal action in some places. I am certainly not keen on giving money to people who are helping to fund such activity.
This signing up to dubious patent claims appears to be a way to try to make dubious patents claims seem more valid. Its not the first time Microsoft have played this game, as they tried the exact same underhanded game with what they claimed were hundreds of fictitious patents they said were against Linux and so they tried to get companies to sign up to their protection racket, out of fear of having to go up against Microsoft in court, if they didn't sign and once they signed that allowed Microsoft to claim they were agreeing with the validity of the dubious patents. Its a PR game not about validity at all. Its all an underhanded chess game to undermine their competitors.
Now Microsoft are trying it against Android. Same pattern of behavior and same end goal, to bring down their competitors with dubious patent claims.
is it me or does the whole software patent thing seem dishonest....
The very fact that the actual patents are never revealed say a lot about them. A patent has to be public, if its hidden you couldn't have patented it. So, while i guess those who license it, don't have to reveal what they licensed it, you would think Microsoft would brag about it to get others to sign up to those very licenses.
All smoke and mirrors, and the whole lot stinks of dirty money grabbing solicitors and Willy showing and who has the deepest pockets.
Sooner software patents are shown the be the horse shit that they are the better imho.