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Acer, maker of the popular Iconia Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet has become the latest device maker to cave in to Microsoft's licensing demands.  (Source: Amazon.com)
Acer, Viewsonic agree to pay Microsoft's toll

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has already inked lucrative licensing details with General Dynamics Corp. (GD) (owners of Itronix, a maker of rugged tablets) [source]; Velocity Micro, Inc. [source]; Onkyo Corp. [source] (JSD:6628); and HTC Corp. (SEO:066570) [source].  It's pressuring Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930) into a similar licensing deal.  Reportedly it wants up to $15 per device sold.  

So what do all these companies have in common?  They all use Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system and all are afraid that Microsoft may make good on its threat to sue them if they don't pay licensing fees.

Now Taiwan's Acer Inc. (
TPE:2353) has agreed [press release] to a similar licensing arrangement, though it declined to disclose how much it had agreed to pay per device.  Acer makes the popular Android 3.x "Honeycomb" Iconia tablet.

Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft comments, "We are pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industry wide licensing program established to help companies address Android's IP issues. This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property."

Of course of amiable phrasing "Help... address Android's IP issues" translates roughly to "forced to pay under threat of lawsuit".

Google does offer Android to device makers for free, so licensing isn't game over to Android manufacturers unlike Apple, Inc.'s (
AAPL) lawsuit campaign [1][2][3][4][5][6], which simply looks to ban Android devices from the market.  However, it does shift the balance of power slightly in the favor of Microsoft, who is trying to push its own Windows Phone 7 smartphone operating system on the masses, by making it less profitable to make Android devices.

Many more manufacturers will like opt the route of Acer and HTC -- simply paying Microsoft's demanded toll.



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RE: It's a rape...
By greylica on 9/8/2011 3:33:02 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, you're right, I exageratte in the words, but again, we have to face a big problem that our devices in fact aren't ''ours'' as are the vendors saying. No one sues you for modifying your car to better suit your own purposes. Course, some modifications won't let you drive in a road where you can put others at risk, but if you have a road to test your mods, why not ?
I called a rape because they are searching for money in a manner that they didn't leave another choice for the consumers. For example, if they show what those patents are, the open source community could make a workaround in order to not use the codes the way they patented, preserving the functional part. But manufacturers are on their knees and we know that's because those patent trolls will use other device or any other thing to make pressure in order for them to assign an agreement.
And the consumer ?
And the consumer ?
No choice for the consumer, those patents are obscure,
then yes, sorry, it's a rape, where is the choice for the consumer ?


RE: It's a rape...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: It's a rape...
By SilthDraeth on 9/8/2011 6:17:59 PM , Rating: 1
I get it. You were raped before in your life. I am sorry.

I have never been hit by a truck, and I know some people have, and yet, when my body hurts all over and I saw I feel like I was hit by a truck, I don't expect the people who got hit by a truck to get all pissed off and tell me that I am using the analogy wrong.

So using the word "rape" in the context that the OP did, has nothing to do with actual victims of rape. It will never attempt to lessen what they went through, nor is it even meant to.

You and people like you that get sooo offended by it's use in common vernacular need to lighten up a little.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














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