Selling patent licenses and “protecting” smaller companies is nothing new for Microsoft. Earlier this summer, Microsoft made headlines several times for doing just that. Microsoft has been doing this for years now, so what’s made these latest licensing deals headline worthy? It’s because the patents haven’t gone out to cover Windows manufacturers. Instead, Android manufacturers have been signing up left and right to throw Microsoft royalties on every Google device sold. Several big name companies have already struck a deal, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to stop anytime soon.
Microsoft has announced today that the company has reached a licensing agreement with both Acer and ViewSonic. According to Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, Microsoft is “pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industry-wide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues.” Under the agreement Acer, as well as ViewSonic, will pay royalties for any devices sold running Android or Chrome.
At the beginning of August, it was revealed that Microsoft makes more money from Android than it does its own Windows Phone OS. Thanks to a deal with HTC, Microsoft made roughly $60 million from Android in the second quarter alone–a whopping $40 million more than from their own devices. Deals with HTC, Acer, ViewSonic, VelocityMicro, General Dynamics, Wistron and Onkyo (just to name a few) are going to help Microsoft close the second half of this year with a bang. Who do you think will be next to ink it out with M$?