Half of all Android devices have entered into patent agreements with Microsoft

While Google continues to figure out how to stop the Microsoft patent train, Microsoft has landed yet another patent agreement with Compal, as announced by Microsoft. For those keeping score at home, that's nine agreements in four months and most notably, this signifies that "half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft".

That noise you hear is Google swearing as Microsoft is now profiting on more than half of all Android devices being sold, kudos to Microsoft for finally finding a way to make money in the mobile phone segment. Although, Google is trying to find a way to protect Android with its acquisition of Motorola, but so far, that has done little to stop Microsoft on its crusade. 

With this latest bit of news, it would look like Microsoft is not even close to being done with it's patent agreement negotiations. The chart above shows Microsoft agreements in green and the red lines show who Microsoft is currently in talks with. There are some large names on the list, most notably Motorola, Foxconn and Barnes & Noble.

While Google may have a hit on its hands with Android, Microsoft has found a way to profit from the platform as well. It will be interesting to see how and when Google finds a work-around to rid its partners of these fees. But until then, Microsoft will continue to profit off of Android. 

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63 Comments

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At least they aren't simply suing everyone like another phone manufacturer in the United States that goes by the name of a fruit.

Nashy said,
At least they aren't simply suing everyone like another phone manufacturer in the United States that goes by the name of a fruit.

LMAO! Best one yet in this story.

First the story is talking about half of the android based devices have patent agreements with MS and now most of the last comments are about MS buying companies? Since when did MS buy Samsung or HTC? Can't remember that actually =/ You know...It's funny actually. People who buy android based phone just because they hate MS and WP7 so muuuch are actually doing MS a favour anyway..

Sick and tired of reading this "MS IS THE EVIL OF ALL MANKIND" kind of ****.

FYI, Microsoft didn't invent everything, they just bought up all the tech companies that did and now they own it, that's they way it goes. Google and its fanboys are just mad because MS beat them too the punch. The funny part is MS bought this stuff up years ago because they knew it would come into play eventually, and now they have a payday.

I think this is the only way Microsoft can make any money, since imho WP7 hasn't been that great of a hit. Plus, to eliminate the competition, is what Microsoft tends to do anyway. Hence, why they are always buying companies.

KomaWeiss said,
Hence, why they are always buying companies.

You know that buying other companies is part of todays business, right? It's not like Microsoft is the only one doing it. Hell please show me one company that doesn't do that…

MFH said,

You know that buying other companies is part of todays business, right? It's not like Microsoft is the only one doing it. Hell please show me one company that doesn't do that…

Yeah, I know, that companies do it all the time, but Microsoft buys ones, that they are competing against, to eliminate the competition.

KomaWeiss said,

Yeah, I know, that companies do it all the time, but Microsoft buys ones, that they are competing against, to eliminate the competition.


As do Google, Apple,… Nothing special here…

Cash Money Billionaire said,
Thats what you have to resort to when you cannot innovate and have a 1% market share

LOL.

"microsoft can't innovate"
LMAO.

pretty stupid comment.

i sense that you are a kind of a person that will buy android based phone, just to show that apple is over rated, and microsoft is the root of all evil.

and google invented pc, and the internet, even the iphone itself, which apple stole.

go educate yourself, microsoft is an empire of important (sometimes unmatched) computer technology.

to repeat what you heard, without thinking, is pretty stupid.
so, your comment has been revoked.
bing!

Majesticmerc said,

Why? So that Microsoft can continue to make money from their competitors products?


Er... Or maybe make money off of their patents and IP that weren't Google's to steel?

M_Lyons10 said,

Er... Or maybe make money off of their patents and IP that weren't Google's to steel?

If you're going to spam about Google like this, at least spell the words 'steal' and 'thieves' right.

Tweaky Nippleton said,

If you're going to spam about Google like this, at least spell the words 'steal' and 'thieves' right.

Oh grow up. This silly nonsense gets real old. First, I was typing on my phone. Second, I'm hardly "spamming" when these companies are clearly in agreement that they're in violation of Microsoft's IP. If not, they wouldn't now be licensing said IP... It's not that complicated...

M_Lyons10 said,
Oh grow up. This silly nonsense gets real old. First, I was typing on my phone. Second, I'm hardly "spamming" when these companies are clearly in agreement that they're in violation of Microsoft's IP. If not, they wouldn't now be licensing said IP... It's not that complicated...

Or, you could grow up and learn to spell properly so that people might actually want to take you seriously. Also, yes you're spamming. You've basically repeated the exact same thing (with different words) what, 3 times in this very comments section. We get it. You feel Google is a "thief" and they "stole" something or other.

Let me break it down for you, they've all "stolen" something in order to get a head. You are delusional if you think Microsoft or any other company in the tech world for that matter hasn't stolen something at some point to be where they are. The problem isn't stealing, the problem is monopolies like Microsoft and Apple who believe they have the right to own everything and anything that has to do with technology.

nekkidtruth said,

Or, you could grow up and learn to spell properly so that people might actually want to take you seriously. Also, yes you're spamming. You've basically repeated the exact same thing (with different words) what, 3 times in this very comments section. We get it. You feel Google is a "thief" and they "stole" something or other.

Let me break it down for you, they've all "stolen" something in order to get a head. You are delusional if you think Microsoft or any other company in the tech world for that matter hasn't stolen something at some point to be where they are. The problem isn't stealing, the problem is monopolies like Microsoft and Apple who believe they have the right to own everything and anything that has to do with technology.

You are absolutely right, Microsoft has stolen stuff from other companies.
Those companies took MS to court and they had to pay up. Everybody cheered!!!!

Now when MS says that Google is stealing from them everybody has an issue with it?!?

M_Lyons10 said,
Oh grow up. This silly nonsense gets real old. First, I was typing on my phone. Second, I'm hardly "spamming" when these companies are clearly in agreement that they're in violation of Microsoft's IP. If not, they wouldn't now be licensing said IP... It's not that complicated...

Tis a tad rich coming from you. You don't even know what your talking about.

Insanemal said,

Tis a tad rich coming from you. You don't even know what your talking about.


Really? You think a company like Samsung thats 3-4x the size of Microsoft and has no problem with counter-suing Apple will just happily bend over and take it from MS?

Yeah ok.

/- Razorfold said,

Really? You think a company like Samsung thats 3-4x the size of Microsoft and has no problem with counter-suing Apple will just happily bend over and take it from MS?

Yeah ok.

Supposed size has nothing to do with it. The fact is MS are making claims.. For some reason nobody is willing to test them.. Possibly because in most peoples minds MS invented everything. The perception of the court will hold a lot of weight in this kind of case and Software patents are a clusterbomb of fail, lose and aids. They are often far too generic and cover things that if it wasn't for it having something to do with a computer would not be patentable.

So you really think Samsung would just shell out millions of dollars for no reason? Really?

And this isn't "supposed" size. Samsung's REVENUES are 3-4x more than Microsoft's. And they've shown with the Apple lawsuit that they have problem with suing / counter suing companies.

So please explain to me why Samsung wouldn't just sue Microsoft if they were just demanding money for no reason?

/- Razorfold said,
So you really think Samsung would just shell out millions of dollars for no reason? Really?

And this isn't "supposed" size. Samsung's REVENUES are 3-4x more than Microsoft's. And they've shown with the Apple lawsuit that they have problem with suing / counter suing companies.

So please explain to me why Samsung wouldn't just sue Microsoft if they were just demanding money for no reason?

Exactly. Yet I'm the villain because the Google fanbois need someone to yell at. Come on. And I stand by my statement that people need to grow up. If they can't recognize that a company like Samsung wouldn't just give them millions of dollars for no reason whatsoever, I honestly don't know what to say. Samsung has shown that they are not a company that is afraid of a lawsuit. They're in a legal battle currently with one of their biggest customers (Where they risk losing a heck of a lot more than if they were to fight Microsoft on the Android Patent Issue). So if they are settling and making licensing arrangements for these patents, there is something to it. It's not some vague or unnecessary patent clearly. If it were, they would have reworked things as they did in their battle with Apple already. But yet the Google fans would argue that Microsoft doesn't have a right to these patents and that everything should be freely available to Google to do whatever it is they please. It's outrageous and absurd. So yes, people need to grow up and look at this unemotionally. Google did a lot of things wrong with Android (Legally), and now they and their partners have to deal with that. If they'd done things properly, like, I dunno, license patents they were going to be using, not directly ripping code from Java, maybe not developing a mobile OS while the CEO was privy to intellectual property and trade secrets while on the board of Apple, etc., etc., they wouldn't be in the situation they're in. There really isn't a whole lot that they did ethically here.

Edited by M_Lyons10, Oct 24 2011, 2:36pm :

zikalify said,
love my wp7 but m$ are patent trolls

And Google could have avoided all this by not being thiefs... There are other companies after Android as well...

M_Lyons10 said,

And Google could have avoided all this by not being thiefs... There are other companies after Android as well...

I love comments like this...you think it's even possible to create ANYTHING in this day and age that doesn't fall under someone's patent?? I very much doubt it..

Hardcore Til I Die said,

I love comments like this...you think it's even possible to create ANYTHING in this day and age that doesn't fall under someone's patent?? I very much doubt it..


Yes, I think that you can create without stealing.

RealFduch said,

Yes, I think that you can create without stealing.

The patent claims refer to the Linux kernel, not anything Google created. Microsoft is claiming the whole of the GNU/Linux community is stealing, not Google.

Microsoft is going to get what's coming to them very soon.

Joey S said,
Microsoft is going to get what's coming to them very soon.

A whole lot of cash from those who signed the agreement…

Hardcore Til I Die said,

I love comments like this...you think it's even possible to create ANYTHING in this day and age that doesn't fall under someone's patent?? I very much doubt it..

Yes, by licensing the patented ideas you're going to be using.

Do I feel that the patent system, particularly in software and technology needs to be revamped? Absolutely. But so long as this is the system we have, people need to pay for using other people's ideas...

Microsoft is rushing to sign everyone up before Google gets its hands on Motorola's patents. After that it's game over for Microsoft's gravy extortion train.

Edited by Joey S, Oct 23 2011, 3:50pm :

Joey S said,
Microsoft is rushing to sign everyone up before Google gets its hands on Motorola's patents. After that it's game over for Microsoft's gravy extortion train.

How come? Its not stopped Motorola from being sued.

evo_spook said,

How come? Its not stopped Motorola from being sued.

+1, Nor would it invalidate Microsoft's patents. Seems like a silly comment to me...

M_Lyons10 said,
+1, Nor would it invalidate Microsoft's patents. Seems like a silly comment to me...

Do you remember what Google did to Oracle when they sued them? Google may not be winning the lawsuit, but they had about 150 of Oracle's patents deemed invalid. Oracle can only pick a small handful to sue Google for. If Google were to do the same thing to MS, it would hardly be considered a defeat.

greenwizard88 said,
I'm surprised that Barnes and Noble hasn't settled. They're not exactly a tech-company, I'm not even sure what IP protection they have.

They don't believe they should have to pay extortionate fees for vague patents. Besides, Microsoft is doing this to make WP7 more attractive, not to protect its IP, otherwise, they would have done this when Android first came out. Technically, that's anti-competitive. That's why Microsoft forces the protection racket members to sign NDA's. Can't have those pesky regulators asking questions after all.

Joey S said,

They don't believe they should have to pay extortionate fees for vague patents. Besides, Microsoft is doing this to make WP7 more attractive, not to protect its IP, otherwise, they would have done this when Android first came out. Technically, that's anti-competitive. That's why Microsoft forces the protection racket members to sign NDA's. Can't have those pesky regulators asking questions after all.

Oh give it a rest. LOL. Is it really necessary to troll every one of these stories? Or are you trying to convince yourself that your precious Google didn't steel from everyone else to make Android?

Joey S said,

They don't believe they should have to pay extortionate fees for vague patents. Besides, Microsoft is doing this to make WP7 more attractive, not to protect its IP, otherwise, they would have done this when Android first came out. Technically, that's anti-competitive. That's why Microsoft forces the protection racket members to sign NDA's. Can't have those pesky regulators asking questions after all.

Um how long do you think patent lawsuits take? Samsung / HTC etc didn't just sign up, they've had license agreements for a while now. And HTC and Samsung still pay for each WP7 license so they aren't exactly saving money.

Microsoft was one of the first companies to create a smartphone OS, obviously they would have patented some of it.

Insanemal said,

They didn't steal crap. Most of this is about the Linux Kernel. In particular the implementation of the FAT32 and NTFS kernel modules. There are some other patents but those are the main ones.. Please go die in a fire


Um what does Android have to do with NTFS and Fat32?

/- Razorfold said,

Um what does Android have to do with NTFS and Fat32?

Android uses FAT32 and/or NTFS on external SD cards.
EDIT: Just to clarify, if you format them inside the android they might not.. but all the SD cards I have used with my Android devices I can plug straight into my SD reader and read in windows.. so they ain't EXT2/3/4

/- Razorfold said,

Um what does Android have to do with NTFS and Fat32?

The Linux kernel contains code which allows user space programs to access FAT32 partitions that contain long file names. Microsoft claims it owns a patent that covers this. The kernel has long since worked around this patent, but Microsoft still persists.

One of two things are going to happen in the Microsoft vs Motorola case.
1. The FAT long/short file name patent gets invalidated again.
2. The Linux kernel is shown to no lower infringe said dubious patent.

Joey S said,

They don't believe they should have to pay extortionate fees for vague patents. Besides, Microsoft is doing this to make WP7 more attractive, not to protect its IP, otherwise, they would have done this when Android first came out. Technically, that's anti-competitive. That's why Microsoft forces the protection racket members to sign NDA's. Can't have those pesky regulators asking questions after all.

Ha Ha Ha don't hate because MS has all these Android manufactures by the balls. If this truly "extortion" (since that is the only word you know) they would not settle. Samsung is a perfect example of that. Apple is bigger than MS yet Samsung went after them?????? Get over it already.

"It will be interesting to see how and when Google finds a work-around to rid its partners of these fees. But until then, Microsoft will continue to profit off of Android."

Ah yes, the Neowin daily dose of "MS is teh dev1l!!!!11!".

ahhell said,
"It will be interesting to see how and when Google finds a work-around to rid its partners of these fees.

It's called Motorola. As soon as the regulators approve it, Microsoft will have to agree to cross-licencing, then these kinds of deals will be finished. Why do you think Microsoft is in such a hurry to sign everyone up?

ahhell said,

But until then, Microsoft will continue to profit off of Android."

Extort is a more appropriate word.

ahhell said,

Ah yes, the Neowin daily dose of "MS is teh dev1l!!!!11!".

Not the devil. but it's certainly one the most aggressive patent abusers along with Apple. Both companies fear competition, that's the crux of it. Without a well established monopoly like on the desktop, Microsoft can't possibly hope to compete without dirty tricks.

Joey S said,

It's called Motorola. As soon as the regulators approve it, Microsoft will have to agree to cross-licencing, then these kinds of deals will be finished. Why do you think Microsoft is in such a hurry to sign everyone up?


Extort is a more appropriate word.


Not the devil. but it's certainly one the most aggressive patent abusers along with Apple. Both companies fear competition, that's the crux of it. Without a well established monopoly like on the desktop, Microsoft can't possibly hope to compete without dirty tricks.

Motorola won't help. Their portfolio is mostly hardware patents. Useful with apple and other oem's, but with MS they need software patents. They don't have enough of those to compare at all.

maybe Google should have paid licenses or not ripped of Sun Java, you know like other companys do. Theres always two sides, not everything is black or white or google the white knight riding to the rescue

ahhell said,
Ah yes, the Neowin daily dose of "MS is teh dev1l!!!!11!".

LOL. Facts are facts. If that doesn't suit your reality, feel free to ignore them.

evo_spook said,
maybe Google should have paid licenses or not ripped of Sun Java, you know like other companys do. Theres always two sides, not everything is black or white or google the white knight riding to the rescue

+1 Though some people will just ignore all of that... It's hardly extortion, Google should have licensed these patents instead of steel. Google deserves what they get with Android.

M_Lyons10 said,

+1 Though some people will just ignore all of that... It's hardly extortion, Google should have licensed these patents instead of steel. Google deserves what they get with Android.

You sir are a total moron.

These patents are targeted mainly at the Linux kernel. They do this to everybody using the Linux kernel who makes a competing product. The IP in question is, well dubious at best. However, who wants to go up against Microsoft. Even if your right they will drag the case on to the Nth degree. They have deep pockets and very long arms. Please go do your homework and remove your lips from the posterior of Steve Ballmer.

Insanemal said,

You sir are a total moron.

These patents are targeted mainly at the Linux kernel. They do this to everybody using the Linux kernel who makes a competing product. The IP in question is, well dubious at best.


Moron, you say? Any facts to back your BS claims?

Insanemal said,

You sir are a total moron.

These patents are targeted mainly at the Linux kernel. They do this to everybody using the Linux kernel who makes a competing product. The IP in question is, well dubious at best. However, who wants to go up against Microsoft. Even if your right they will drag the case on to the Nth degree. They have deep pockets and very long arms. Please go do your homework and remove your lips from the posterior of Steve Ballmer.


Samung earns 3-4x as much money as Microsoft does and is a much much larger company. And they've proved they have no problem with suing Apple. So please do explain why Samung would just shell out millions to Microsoft if they didn't have a case.

/- Razorfold said,

Samung earns 3-4x as much money as Microsoft does and is a much much larger company. And they've proved they have no problem with suing Apple. So please do explain why Samung would just shell out millions to Microsoft if they didn't have a case.

Time, money. Also Citation Provided!
http://www.informationweek.com/news/199600443
http://www.osnews.com/story/21...und_Microsoft_s_FAT_Patents
http://arstechnica.com/microso...s-in-linux-based-device.ars
I can find more if you want. It's not exactly new news.

Insanemal said,

Apart from the fact that your citations are two years old at best, how come you think this is only about FAT? There's a NDA and I bet it's not - just - about FAT…

MFH said,

Apart from the fact that your citations are two years old at best, how come you think this is only about FAT? There's a NDA and I bet it's not - just - about FAT…

When ever Microsoft sues a competitor who uses the Linux kernel, It's always the FAT long/short filename patent that comes out first. Any other claims are minor patents.

As Insanemal's links suggest, the FAT patents have already been worked around. So Microsoft is very reluctant to take this to court and 1. Prove definitively that the Linux kernel doesn't infringe its FAT patents, and 2. Invalidate said patents on grounds of prior art, which incidentally, does exist.

guru said,
If MS gets Foxconn then its game over for other oems

Motorola wont now that Google own them. And with so many resisting Microsoft's extortion racket. it doesn't bode well for Microsoft's aggressive patent strategy.

bdsams said,
I really think it is, you would expect Samsung to put up a massive fight and even they fell...

Which tells me there's definitely a case for these patent fees. Samsung wouldn't just give in... It's hardly extortion when they're right...

M_Lyons10 said,

Which tells me there's definitely a case for these patent fees. Samsung wouldn't just give in... It's hardly extortion when they're right...
If litigation potential costs more it's a matter regarding the company's bottom line. Also no company wants to alienate Microsoft, none of the big players, safe for Motorola, are putting all their eggs in one basket. Even tho most of their phones are not Android (or which ever one they use as a primary) they all have a small-ish side-project smartphone os. And all relish the idea of another way out in case their main one somehow fails (i'm looking at you Nokia).

And Sony Ericsson is safe from everything because no company even wants to try attacking them ^^ The combined patent portfolio of Sony, Sony Ericsson and Ericsson is bigger than any other player on the market! So if you want to invest in a license-safe phone, invest in a Sony Ericsson device

Ambroos said,
And Sony Ericsson is safe from everything because no company even wants to try attacking them ^^ The combined patent portfolio of Sony, Sony Ericsson and Ericsson is bigger than any other player on the market! So if you want to invest in a license-safe phone, invest in a Sony Ericsson device

SE don't need to, along with a few other phone oem's. They already have cross licensing deals with MS for patents. MS can use Ericssons huge patent portfolio and SE can use MS'.