Print 25 comment(s) - last by BigEdMan.. on Feb 26 at 4:03 AM

Licensing rates were not disclosed

Remember Nikon Corp.'s (TYO:7731) Android-powered smart cameras like the Coolpix S800c?  Well it appears that adding Google Inc.'s (GOOG) free operating system isn't going to be quite so free -- Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has successfully shaken down the Japanese camera maker for a licensing fee.

Most of the top Android phonemakers -- including HTC Corp. (TPE:2498and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) -- pay licensing fees ranging from $10 to $15 per unit to Microsoft.  Now it appears that the camera makers will be following in suit.  (Samsung presumably pays Microsoft a licensing fee on its "Galaxy" Android smartcameras).

In a press release Microsoft gloats:

The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. Microsoft’s specific patent licensing program for Android device makers has resulted in signed license agreements with numerous companies including Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer and Barnes & Noble.

Nikon Coolpix S800c

The licensing agreement is a cautionary tale to other camera makers.  Incorporating a smartphone-like OS into your point and shoot camera may be appealing, but it won't be free -- you'll have to pay the Microsoft tax.

Source: Microsoft

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Doing it Right
By Nortel on 2/22/2013 2:09:14 PM , Rating: -1
pay licensing fees ranging from $10 to $15 per unit to Microsoft.
First of all, $10-15 per unit is not a low price point. Apple tried to get Samsung to pay a fee when they were creating the Galaxy phone and Samsung received many warnings, internally and from Apple that the phone was too similar. Now you say Microsoft is the good-guy and people are actually agreeing with you? All Nikon did was slap freely available Android onto an already available touchscreen point and shoot.

I do think it is ironic how this article has nothing to do with Apple and yet the top comment tries to drag Apple through the mud.

RE: Doing it Right
By Bateluer on 2/22/2013 3:08:26 PM , Rating: 4
Apple wouldn't license at all, they would sue to block the Nikon smart cameras from the market entirely. Only to come back a year later with their own smart camera, claim they invented it, and call it magical.

Microsoft's Android Tax is a scumbag policy that stifles innovation and harms consumers. Especially when Microsoft's own smartphone OS has been dead in the water. But, it does not outright block products from coming to market and getting to the customer. Google still needs to take a more active role in combating IP trolls like Microsoft.

RE: Doing it Right
By KoolAidMan1 on 2/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: Doing it Right
By JPForums on 2/25/2013 10:39:48 AM , Rating: 3
Not true, Apple licenses to many companies, Microsoft and HTC being two of them. Samsung refused to pay license fees to Apple, that's why it ended up going to court.
This makes you wonder how high the required fee must have been or how absurd the patent must have been if the same Samsung is willing to pay $10-$15 per android handset to Microsoft. While I don't particularly care for patent trolling in general, I have to assume at this point that either Microsoft's either terms are significantly more reasonable or their patents are significantly less disputable than Apple's. Otherwise, Microsoft would be contested as much as Apple is.

RE: Doing it Right
By Strunf on 2/25/2013 12:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
Apple probably works on a per costumer basis, since Samsung is the nr°1 phone maker they probably set the price as high as possible just to make it not worthy for Samsung, had HTC be the nr 1 phone maker they would probably get the same treatment Samsung got, people really shouldn't see the Apple-HTC as an act of goodwill, it's a ploy to make HTC a better competitor against Samsung, as in the enemy of my enemy is my friend... The MS case is a whole different story, no one really knows how many patents MS has on the user interface, protocols and others... Apple doesn't want to know it either, this Android Tax is due to this too, for a manufacturer is probably cheaper to pay this Android tax than face MS in a court.

RE: Doing it Right
By BigEdMan on 2/26/2013 4:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
Strunf "...for a manufacturer is probably cheaper to pay this Android tax than face MS in a court."
No, it's cheaper to pay this Android tax than face MS & Apple in court!
The MS/crApple cross licensing agreement buys you a lot of protection for many of crApple's similar patents.

IMHO we need a Really Big crApple / Google patent war.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

Latest Headlines
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki