Apple has been openly fighting against Android manufacturers for the past several months. The Cupertino company has accused handset makers like Samsung, HTC, and Motorola Mobility of infringing on its intellectual property.
A lot of people believe that Apple’s hoard of patent lawsuits are going to end up stifling innovation, but they’re not the only ones doing it. In fact, at this point, Android partners should probably be more afraid of Microsoft and its IP…
Neowin.net points to a blog post on Microsoft’s website that confirms the company has just scored its 10th license agreement with an Android manufacturer. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Today Microsoft announced its tenth license agreement providing coverage under our patent portfolio for Android mobile phones and tablets. Today’s agreement is with Compal, one of the world’s largest Original Design Manufacturers, or ODM. Compal is based in Taiwan, where it produces smartphones and tablet computers for third parties and has a revenue of roughly $28 billion per year.
Today’s announcement marks Microsoft’s ninth Android agreement in the last four months. More important, today’s announcement means that companies accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft.”
The article goes on to explain that the licensing deals are fair and respectful, but that’s hard to believe. Microsoft collects $5 for every Android handset that HTC sells, so you have to imagine it has similar agreements with the other companies.
Most cell phone manufacturers see low profit margins in the first place, so $5 per handset can’t be good for business. But since Android device makers are competition for Windows Phone anyways, this puts Microsoft in a win-win situation.
As Steve Balmer’s bunch continues to extort money from Android partners, you have to ask yourself: “Is Apple worse for Google’s mobile OS, or is Microsoft?” Either way, you can’t imagine that it can survive this onslaught of litigation much longer.