Microsoft is once again getting extra revenues based on sales of products that use Google's Android operating system. In two separate press releases today, Microsoft announced patent licensing deals with Acer and Viewsonic. In both deals, Microsoft said the agreements involve smartphones and tablets from those two companies that are based on Android. The Viewsonic deal also extends to sales of products that use Google's Chrome PC operating system.
Specific financial numbers were not disclosed, but in Microsoft's press release for the Viewsonic deal it says that Microsoft will receive some kind of royalties from Viewsonic. Both press releases feature the same statement from Microsoft corporate vice president Horacio Gutierrez, saying, “This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property."
Microsoft has officially stayed silent on exactly what kinds of patents these two companies are licensing from the company. However, it's not the first time Microsoft has made such deals. In the past several months Microsoft has announced similar patent licensing agreements with the big smartphone maker HTC along with smaller companies like Onkyo, Velocity Micro and General Dynamics Itronix. Other Android-based smartphone and tablet makers like Motorola and Barnes and Noble (its Nook Color eReader is Android-based) have not signed on the dotted line with Microsoft and have decided to fight Microsoft's patent claims in the legal arena.
Microsoft's general counsel Brad Sims is apparently planning to sign even more companies up in similar agreements. In a post on his Twitter page announcing the Viewsonic and Acer deals today he added, "It's safe to predict more will follow this fall."