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Having a smaller market share may help a tiny bit too

Having a discussion with a source close to Japanese Android smartphone maker Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) I noted how remarkable it was that Sony had escaped any sort of litigation or publicly discussed licensing with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) or Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  While Apple hasn't sued everyone, it has sued most of the top Android phonemakers.  But Sony has escaped scott free.

How is it doing it?

Our source close to Sony confirms that he indeed knows the face of patent belligerence all to well, saying he's been called on as an expert to testify in several cases.  He remarks, "A lot of those [lawsuits] have been pretty frivolous."

When asked specifically about Microsoft and Apple and how Sony has escaped lawsuits (or licensing demands) he said, "We've had a number of discussions... We've been pretty successful at fending off these onslaughts... [laughs] I guess we should give credit to our lawyers."

So there you have it; the electronics industry has devolved into how good a lawyer team is.

Kung-Fu
Sony has reportedly used some lawyer "kung-fu" to avoid lawsuits.
[Image Source: Sony Pictures]

It's no wonder why some of the U.S.'s oldest and most respected federal judges are saying the patent system is broken in the U.S.  That same sentiment is also being echoed by top investors like Mark Cuban who bemoan the power of litigation to kill startups.

Sony for its part must have some pretty good lawyers.  After all, its latest and greatest Xperia phones have slide to unlock graphics (which other Android phonemakers have been sued over) and also have a "Cover Flow"-like transition animation (Apple owns a patent on Cover Flow's animations).

With its new "superphones" hitting the product stream, the phonemaker's remarkable ability to ward off Apple lawsuits may boost its profitability and sales, assuming that situation does not somehow shift.




“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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