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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



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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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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