Microsoft signs up Voxx Electronics as latest Android patent license partner

It's been some time since we have heard any news about Microsoft signing up companies to use its patents on Android devices. Today that changed when the company announced a new agreement with New York State-based Voxx Electronics that will allow it to use patents owned by Microsoft in its Android products including "rear-seat entertainment devices, tablets and other consumer devices."

Specific details of the deal were not covered in Microsoft's press release but it did state it will receive a royalty from Voxx Electronics. It's basically the same set up that Microsoft has made with the many other Android device makers it has signed up over the past few years including LG, Samsung and others. While Microsoft has never revealed just how much money it has received from its various Android license agreements, some analysts have estimated that the company gets as much as $2 billion a year from the patent deals.

Voxx Electronics was previously known as Audiovox and makes a number of consumer and business electronics products with many different brand names; they include two budget priced Android 7 and 8-inch tablets, such as the T582, shown above.

Source: Microsoft on PRNewswire | Image via Voxx Electronics

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13 Comments

techbeck said,
Have to pay to use others property. Wish more companies would do this instead of sue sue sue.

Except that ideas aren't property since they aren't tangible.

Additionally, one only has to look at how many patents get invalidated once tested in court to realise the lunacy of the whole IP system. The patent offices rubber stamp everything, then let the courts determine the legitimacy of them.

One of Microsoft's core patents (FAT), which is oft used to attack Linux, was just recently invalidated in Germany. That's just one example where a decade old supposed property of Microsoft is proven to have had prior art.

Another problem is often how generic and broad patents are, to the point where it's impossible to work around it. It's certainly a great way to maintain monopolies and suppress innovation.

The fact that Android users big and small pay Microsoft's license fees is a testament to the validity of Microsoft's patents and the fairness of their license terms.

a1ien said,
The fact that Android users big and small pay Microsoft's license fees is a testament to the validity of Microsoft's patents and the fairness of their license terms.

Ask Barnes and Noble if they agree with that:

Instead of focusing on innovation and the development of new products for consumers, Microsoft has decided to invest its efforts into driving open source developers from the mobile operation systems market. Through the use of offensive licensing agreements and the demand for unreasonable licensing fees, Microsoft is hindering creativity in the mobile operation systems market.

http://www.techdirt.com/articl...s-antitrust-violation.shtml

Or TomTom:
http://www.datamation.com/osrc...-Justice-and-Linux-Lose.htm

Who were forced into licensing a patent that has been invalidated in the past, and again just recently in Germany:
http://www.pcworld.com/article...torola-phone-sales-ban.html

Fairness? Only if you like Mafiosa tactics.

simplezz said,

Ask Barnes and Noble if they agree with that:

http://www.techdirt.com/articl...s-antitrust-violation.shtml

Or TomTom:
http://www.datamation.com/osrc...-Justice-and-Linux-Lose.htm

Who were forced into licensing a patent that has been invalidated in the past, and again just recently in Germany:
http://www.pcworld.com/article...torola-phone-sales-ban.html

Fairness? Only if you like Mafiosa tactics.

I'm pretty sure that if one patent is found invalid, the others covered by the agreement still stand. Secondly, the system is designed this way, you can't blame Microsoft, or Apple for that matter - the system is wrong. Patents need to be protected otherwise they are invalidated/dropped hence why all this suing and licensing.

simplezz said,
Pay up or else racket. Nothing new here. The Mafia were doing it decades ago.

Hey, here's an idea.
Come up with a super cool invention and patent it.
I'll steal it and use it as my own without paying you.
I'm pretty sure you'd feel angry.
If something is patented and you're using that idea, just pay the owners and get on with it. If not, then you're just stealing.

aviator189 said,

Hey, here's an idea.
Come up with a super cool invention and patent it.
I'll steal it and use it as my own without paying you.
I'm pretty sure you'd feel angry.

I wouldn't patent it for a start. I'd share it with the world and my fellow man. If you improved upon it, I'd welcome it. Our whole world is founded on the ideas of our forefathers. Science, mathematics, technology, and everything around us is the product of others. Without the free sharing of ideas, we wouldn't exist as we know it. You can't own an idea, it's a simple fact. The copyright and patent industries would like you to believe it was the case though.

aviator189 said,

If something is patented and you're using that idea, just pay the owners and get on with it. If not, then you're just stealing.

I don't believe in or condone government granted monopolies of ideas.

simplezz said,

The copyright and patent industries would like you to believe it was the case though.

A long time agoyou also weren't able to own anything tangible. The strongest would claim it for themselves. Then laws came to protect people's property. But not all property is tangible. By not giving intangible property the same protection you're making it impossible to make a living out of wrting books or making inventions. I do agree that the copyright system is flawed and should be tweaked. However you're making it sound like some sinister conspiracy.

xankazo said,
Can I take your phone, laptop, car, or any of your properties without having to pay for them? No?

imagine for a moment if the patent office was around back when:

the wheel was invented...
the power of fire was harnessed...
rope was first made...
the first floating wooded structure was designed...
a bow and arrow were crafted...
metal was first melted and molded...
hinges were first hung...
a door lock and key were first used...
nails and a hammer were thought up...
electricity was harnessed...
the light bulb came around...
the screw was designed...

and on and on and on....

patents stifle great inventions, innovation, slow down (even sometimes stop) progress. Take notice of the not so distant past. Remember when great new products and ideas came out more often?

rippleman said,
the light bulb came around...
imagine for a moment if the patent office was around back when:

Just a small interjection here -- Edison got a patent for the light bulb, among hundreds of other things. As for the rest.. fire? Wheels? Seriously? Gronk the Caveman going to sue some other cave dweller? /s

Not having patents can also stifle innovation as well.. who's going to fork out a ton of money to have ideas researched and created just to have some other guy steal the idea causing the designer to lose all that cash in the process? Technology isn't cheap and doesn't appear out of thin air, nor does the warm and fuzzy feeling of contribution pay your bills. Your fellow man advances, you go out of business along with all your employees and other people who were relying on you. That designer won't be able to feed his family with good intentions. Not saying the system is perfect because it certainly isn't, but some of these things cost millions+ to develop, they're due some protection too.

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