Sony Knows Kung Fu; Avoids Microsoft, Apple Android Lawsuits
November 7, 2011 1:46 PM
(Source: Warner Bros. Pictures)
Apple and Microsoft are pretty friendly with one Android phonemaker
These days whether it’s paying big licensing fees [
] to Microsoft Corp. (
) or facing equally terrifying lawsuit barrages [
] from Apple, Inc. (
life seems pretty tough
for Android OEMs, despite the operating system's sales success.
Life is pretty tough for Android phone makers, that is, except for Sony.
Japan's Sony Corp. (
) is fortunate enough to be sitting upon a massive pile of international intellectual property. To boot, it
added over 6,000 patents to that collection
when it joined with Microsoft and Apple in purchasing Nortel Networks' IP.
Sony via its wholly owned Sony-Ericsson unit, which it
recently bought out
, produces a number of distinctive Android smartphones including the
Gingerbread-powered Xperia Play 4G
The PlayStation Phone
") and the
"Live With Walkman" music-minded handset
Yet Sony has had the good fortune of seeing nary a lawsuit from Apple. Part of that could be written off to the company's relatively small share of the overall big Android pie. It's true that Apple primarily targeted the world's top three Android smartphone makers -- Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
), HTC Corp. (
), and Google Inc. (
) subsidiary Motorola Mobility -- a group that Sony did not have the distinction of being part of.
But then there's the fact that Microsoft doesn't even
Sony in its recent diagram of who it's suing and who it's cutting licensing deals with.
Look, no Sony! [Source: Microsoft]
Given that Sony's been on the market for some time now with Android product, the message seems clear -- Sony, for whatever reason, doesn't have to license from Microsoft.
Sony's Xperia Play 4G (left) and "Live With Walkman" (right)
It looks like Sony
knows some special kung fu
when it comes to smartphone IP.
Sony might not have won the Android market over quite yet with its slick designs, but with other manufacturers paying Microsoft as much as $15 USD per handset and seeing their devices banned from sales in some regions, IP-strong Sony could be poised to rise up the ranks in global sales -- assuming it can generate enough compelling product.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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